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Inspiration logo large (3)

15th Annual
Inspiration Walk

Our 15th annual Inspiration Walk will take place on Saturday, April 16th at Centennial Park in Ellicott City. The Walk is our primary fundraiser and critical to our raising funds needed to provide sports training and competitions for over 680 athletes. (Check out the 2015 Year in Review in the right sidebar for all that we do! Presenting sponsors are Corridor Mortgage, the Lisa Higgins Hussman Foundation, and CarMax Laurel Toyota.

Registration and pre-walk activities begin at 8 a.m. The walk will be kicked off at 9:15 by Honorary Chairman County Executive Allan Kittleman. Events will take place at the pavilion.Water and snacks will be provided to all walkers by Hospitality Sponsors Canada Dry Potomac, Rethink Water, Body Armor, and Wegmans. Walkers with a minimum of $50 in pledges will get a high quality tee-shirt and be entered in a random prize drawing for gifts donated by area businesses, including a gift package with a personal trainer at Fitness Together in Ellicott City. Participants can choose between a 2.4 mile walk around Centennial Lake and a half-mile family fun walk. They will enjoy viewing photo posters of the athletes and sponsor signs that will be placed around the venue

This year’s walk will feature the face painting, Zumba, the Orioles and Poe birds, the Hogettes, car displays by Win Kelly Chevrolet Buick GMC and DARCARS and lots of other activities.

Registration: Walkers can register on our general donation page (CLICK HERE) or by creating their own fundraising page by CLICKING HERE and then selecting FUNDRAISE. All walkers must complete a Waiver. (CLICK HERE to print out the waiver and bring to the walk completed to save time that day of the event!) Those not walking but who wish to donate can donate directly on the general donation page or by sending a check (made out to Special Olympics Howard County) to 8970 Route 108, Suite A-1, Columbia, MD 21045.

Incentive prizes:

Level 1: $50 = 2016 Inspiration Walk t-Shirt
Level 2: $500 = Level 1 + Inspiration Walk sherpa blanket
Level 3: $1,000 = Level 1 + SOHO Jacket OR Fit Bit Flex
Level 4: $2,000 = Level 1 + Gift Certificate for 2 Tickets to Toby’s Dinner Theater OR Fit Bit Charge HR  OR Night Out (dinner and movie for two $150 value)

Top fundraisers as of May 15th, are eligible for prizes including 4 Orioles tickets, $200 Wegman’s gift certificate, $250 gift certificate to Bob’s Discount Furniture,  Overnight stay at Mayflower Hotel in DC plus dinner at Roof Terrace Restaurant, Overnight Stay at Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel with breakfast for two; and Summer Family Memories Package at Seven Springs Mountain Resort (2 nights lodging and activities). Keep watching for any additional prizes.

Sponsors for this year’s walk can be found by searching on Inspiration Walk.

Fall Sports Registration is Closed

Registration for fall sports (Bowling, Cycling, Distance Running, Flag Football, Golf, Powerlifting, Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball) is now closed. Remember that all athletes must have a current medical on file in order to participate in any SOHO activity. These must be updated every three years. Medical forms can be found on our web site. Athletes without a current medical must have a completed one prior to the first practice or they will be dropped to the waitlist. Some of the training locations have not been confirmed but registered athletes will be informed of the location prior to the beginning of the season. Also, some sports have limits on the number of athletes we can accommodate - bowling and powerlifting, for example. Once the number is reached, all subsequent registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

NOTE: Athletes registering for a team sport must review the Team Sports Participation Policy found our web site under Policies. Athletes may only register for one team sport a season.

There is no Fitness program in the fall and Quest training is only open to those who register for Powerlifting. (see article in last month’s newsletter.)

2015 Year in Review

We hosted over 500 events last year, including 416 practices, 24 competitions and league play games, 22 end of season parties, 11 monthly management team meetings and over 21 additional outreach and fundraising events.

We trained 681 athletes (including the Motor Activities Training Program and Unified Partners) in 19 sports programs.

Our sports programs were run by 37 coordinators, 110 coaches, and many other volunteers, including a large cadre of student volunteers.

Ten athletes were trained as Special Olympics Global Messengers and participated in 67 events around the state, spreading information about the Special Olympics movement and what it means to them. One of our equestrian athletes was selected to participate in the 2015 World Games held in Los Angeles and covered on ESPN!

We trained over 135 new volunteers at 11 volunteers orientation.

Whew! what a year! Thank you volunteers for providing these fantastic opportunities for our athletes!