Over the last few months, athletes from 22 Northampton County classes have been practicing their gymnastics skills. They worked very hard with the help of their classroom and gym teachers to learn routines in floor exercise, balance beam, and the vault. After much anticipation, and 2 unexpected snow cancellations, the Special Olympics Gymnastics competition took place on Monday March 26, 2018. Easton Area High School hosted the 13th annual event. 165 gymnasts came ready to show their families, coaches, friends, and judges all their hard work. The event kicked off with opening ceremonies, and then the routines were on! The athletes tumbled, rolled, balanced, and jumped their way across the mats. Each routine started with the traditional one hand salute, and ended with an enthusiastic "TA DA!". Every athlete was proudly awarded a ribbon for each event. There was no shortage of sportsmanship, as the athletes cheered for their friends on the mats. This event is supported by so many wonderful volunteers. Many thanks to Easton Area High School, Student Council, security, custodians, administration, and student volunteers for your help and support. We are also grateful to the Easton Angels for holding their annual bake sale on behalf of Northampton County Special Olympics. Lastly, a special thank you to teachers and volunteers for your hard work and dedication to the athletes. As always, the event closed with a dance party! It was a fun event and we are looking forward to another great year!
20 classrooms and over 120 athletes had a great time going “under the sea” at our Special Special South event held at Nazareth Area High School on April 19, 2018. This year the athletes competed in multiple events such as target throw, scooter races, 25 yard dash, long jump, and so much more! Outside in the Olympic Village, NAHS created lots of fun activities for the kids such as watching a movie, creating a craft, coloring pages, face painting, and ball toss for them to enjoy when they were not competing. We even had a visit from our furry friends for some dog therapy time! The volunteers worked around the clock before the event to bring the “Little Mermaid” theme to life with pictures, balloons, streamers, and more! Looking around, you saw smiling faces and heard lots of giggles as wonderful student volunteers enjoyed the day with their athletes. The day was ended with a huge parade to cheer on our athletes and congratulate them on a job well done! As Ariel would say “We’ve got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea!”
This year Northampton County Special Olympics took thirty-one of its’ top bowlers to the Eastern Sectional Bowling Competition held in Allentown, Pa. on March 25, 2018. Under Head Bowling Coach, Janelle Pemberton, the athletes threw many strikes and spares. All thirty one athletes and ten coaches were housed at the Rose Bowl. They each received a new maroon polo shirt to compete in. With the new format from the state, the open ceremonies were held at the lanes with our own Tyler Youngkin giving the opening speech and getting the bowlers pumped up for a fun day of competition. A huge thank you to all of the coaches and families who came out and cheered on our awesome bowlers!
Bowling pins were being knocked down and ribbons and trophies earned on December 7th. Students from 9 schools in Northampton County competed in the HS South Bowling Tournament. We had 127 bowlers trying for spares and strikes at Hampton Lanes in Northampton. A big THANK YOU goes out to Kylee Diaz from Pen Argyl HS for leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance, Cassie Woolf from Freedom HS for singing the National Anthem and Masais Calderon from Pen Argyl HS for leading our athletes in the Special Olympic Athlete Oath. After training for 8 weeks these athletes were divisioned in lanes and competed against athletes from other schools to determine the top bowlers that day. We would like to congratulate all of our bowlers for doing such a great job competing and showing such good sportsmanship. Our top bowlers at this event were:
Bumpers Violet Young - 107 Robbie Epps - 116 No Bumpers Alexanjura Mongon - 112 Jordan Clinton - 107 Bumpers and Ramps Tamicqua Crawford - 108 Jesse Torcivia - 109
The sounds of basketballs bouncing, balls swishing through hoops, and balls being passed topartners could be heard in the Chrin Center Gymnasium. There were 25-30 athletespracticing their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills each Thursday afternoon for 8 weeks inMarch and April. Spot shooting, serpentine dribbling through cones, give and gos, keepaway, and 3 vs. 3 were just a few of the drills they worked on each week.It was great to see the improvement they made week to week. They worked on 3 basic skillsthat were tested at the start of the training, throughout the training,and at the end of thetraining for the FIT 5 Program. This enabled us to see the improvements they were makingand the goals they were meeting. Our athletes also learned how to take the skills theylearned to play in a 3 vs 3 game. They were able to work together with teammates to pass,shoot, rebound, and play defense.Ten athletes participated in the VIA Shoot Out at NCACC on March 31. They played two 3 vs 3games in the big court in front of a large crowd. Senior All-Stars from the Lehigh Valley werepresent and cheered for our athletes during their games. The highlight of the day for most ofour athletes was getting interviewed by Service Electric TV! They were asked questionsabout how they like playing in front of a large crowd and how they like being there with allthe Lehigh Valley Sr All-Stars! There were smiles galore on all of our athletes faces!For the first time, seven of our athletes participated in a Special Olympic BasketballCompetition at Moravian College on April 22! They played three games against teams fromBethlehem and Lehigh Counties in a 3 vs 3 competition. All of the teams we played againsthave competed at Kutztown and Penn State, and our team did an outstanding job against thestiff competition! This was a great learning experience for our athletes and for the coaches.But the best part of the day was seeing all the smiles, high fives, and hugs between theathletes; the pizza they served after the games wasn’t too bad either! Looking forward tonext year and seeing what our athletes will accomplish!
The Northampton County Equestrians are braving the continuing cold weather and are back in the saddle for the 6th year. Ten riders train weekly to improve their skills in preparation for our Local Horse Show on May 22nd . The show will begin at 5pm at Equilibrium, 524 Fehr Road, Nazareth PA. Come cheer us on! Riders are also working to improve overall fitness through the Special Olympic Fit 5 Program.
On June 5th, 2018, We would like to invite all NCSO athletes and their families to join FreeFall Trampoline Park as they celebrate local Pennsylvania Special Olympics Participants from Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. FreeFall has invited other organizations focusing on those with special needs to be also attend and show support. Many of the guests who regularly attend Special Needs Nights are excited about the idea of meeting more local Special Olympic Competitors.
The student group “Easton’s Angels” from Easton Area High School has shown NCSO tremendous support over the years. On April 23rd, representatives from Easton’s Angels stopped by the NCSO committee meeting to present NCSO with a check for $3,500. WOW! The group organizes and hosts several fundraisers throughout the year to raise funds. We are grateful to the students of Easton High School for this generous donation. We commend them for all of their hard work and their steadfast support!
A big thank you to Helen Capparell for representing NCSO at the 2018 Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run at Penn State University. The event which boasted more than 3,500 runners and walkers was held on Blue and White Weekend. The course took participants around Penn State’s Scenic campus and ended with runners going through the Beaver Stadium Tunnel and crossing the finish line at the 50 yard line!
Easton's Angels will be hosting a Designer Bingo night on Sunday March 18, 2018 at Easton Area High School Cafeteria. Doors will open at 10:00am and the event will start at noon. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. *Ticket entitles you to 20 regular games. There will also be tricky trays, 50/50, raffle and door prizes. The event will feature products from Coach, Vera Bradley, Michael Kors, Kate Spade and more! All proceeds will go to Northampton County Special Olympics and the Miracle League of Northampton County. For tickets or information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Sam 484-626-3195.
Thank you to all of the many people involved in making the 2018 Lehigh Valley Polar Plunge a success. 455 brave people took the plunge into the Delaware Rivera at Scott Park in Easton, PA. So far, the event has raised nearly $83,000 for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. The funds NCSO receives from this event are essentially to us providing all of our programming throughout the year and taking athletes to competitions. We sure were "Freezin' for a Reason"!
Plunge in the News
Click on a picture for some great photos/videos of plunge day!
The 41st Annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games were held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, PA from January 28 th -30 th . Eight NCSO athletes competed in the Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom and Super G events. Training for these events began in early January at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, PA. Each week, the NCSO ski team worked hard to improve their skills for competition. Coaches worked with athletes on turns, speed control, body placement and maneuvering through gates. At Winter Games, athletes put these skills to the test against Special Olympic athletes from across the state. Everyone tried their hardest and were “brave in their attempts.” In between competition, athletes had a lot of fun seeing a firework display, attending the victory dance and playing games at Olympic Village. At the awards ceremony, NCSO athletes were rewarded with 10 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze and 3 fourth place. Congratulations to all the athletes and their coaches!
Bowling HS North took place on January 25, 2018 at Blue Valley Lanes in Wind Gap. Sixteen classes attended and all the participants had a great time!! The classes included, Pocono Mtn East and West, Stroudsburg, Bangor, Colonial Academy, and East Stroudsburg. Everyone bowled their one game and received ribbons during the awards ceremony. Our top bowlers, male and female in each category; using no bumpers, using bumpers, and using a ramp w/bumpers, each received a trophy! A special thanks to all the supervisors for coming out to support our athletes!! Also, a very special thank you to Linda & Amanda for all their hard work on making sure all the medicals are up to date which allows our athletes to continue to participate and have an amazing time!
Mark your calendar for March 7th, 2018! Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies and our supporters to inspire respect and acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the R-word and how hurtful and disrespectful words can be toward people with intellectual disabilities. The campaign, created by youth, is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The annual day of awareness is held the first Wednesday of March. While most activities are centered on or near that annual day in March, people everywhere can help spread the word throughout their communities and schools year-round through pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation.
We started off the school year with our Fitness Program. The athletes learned about the FIT 5 program. This is a new program launched by SOPA to teach athletes how to achieve fitness and their personal best with physical activity, nutrition, and hydration. We averaged 10 athletes participating in this program and each week they logged how many times they exercised,if they were able to eat 5 fruits and vegetables, and drink 5 bottles of water on a daily basis. Our athletes learned that exercise, nutrition, and hydration are very important factors in their physical fitness development. They worked on different areas of fitness each training session in a fun and engaging atmosphere. Fitness Bingo , tag games, free dance, and our outdoor fitness walk were popular activities that improved cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, and muscle endurance. Our group is really looking forward to the fitness path being completed at the Chrin Center, so we can get together for fun power walks in the near future.
October brought the sounds of sticks moving across the floor and pucks flying into goals at the Chrin Center. There are 15 -20 athletes that are learning how to dribble, pass, and shoot during our floor hockey training sessions. We are also learning about Fit 5. Fit 5 will help each athlete focus on living a healthier lifestyle and will make our athletes perform better. Here is how it works. We encourage athletes to eat 5 fruits and/or vegetables a day, drink 5 glasses of water a day and exercise 5 times a week. We have been working hard learning the skills needed to play a game of floor hockey. The equipment is a little different than what you might see in a gym class. We are using sticks that look like poles and pucks that look like cds to allow our athletes to experience more success. Our athletes are becoming more skilled with their dribbling, passing, and shooting abilities. They are beginning to work on defensive techniques. We will be playing a floor hockey game soon!
On Sunday, October 1st there was a Motorcycle Poker run that benefited NCSO. Over 30 bikers came out to support Northampton County Special Olympics. The Poker Run was put together by one of CIU20’s transportation drivers, Betty Jo Bonners- Hockman. Riders from the Moose Riders also assisted at registration and also at the park. Riders stopped at 6 different stops before ending at the Wind Gap Park. At the park both riders, athletes, and NCSO committee members enjoyed the food, entertainment, and the beautiful day together. There was also a tricky tray with lots of great prizes. Kory Kutzler’s bike was voted the best of show by our athlete judges. Two of our athletes even enjoyed a ride through the park on Kory’s bike! Overall, it was a great day!
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, ten athletes from Northampton County Special Olympics took part in the 5th Annual Crayola Experience Fashion Show. The athletes each were able to walk down the runway and show off their creative style to over a hundred guests in attendance. All of the ticket sale proceeds will be donated to Northampton County Special Olympics. Thank you to the Crayola Experience for continuing to include and support our program.
We are now offering Flag Football for the first time this year, it is held on Tuesday at the Charles Chin Center. We have 15 athletes who work hard and put their skills to the test each week. The skills that the athletes practice each week are passing, hiking, running with the ball, and trying to grab the other opponent’s flag. Each week our coaches work on trying to meet new goals and achievements for each of our athletes. We believe this new sport is very successful and we hope for it to grow in the years to come.
On Saturday, October 21st Miracle League of Northampton County had their annual trick or treat at their field in Palmer Township. NCSO came out to support Miracle League and set up a table for the trick or treaters. It was a great night to see all of the players dressed up in their costumes. Many of our NCSO athletes also play Miracle League so it was great to see familiar faces throughout the night! Over 400 trick or treaters came through the line! We can’t wait to do it again next year!
Northampton County Special Olypmics