29.Sep.2012 Cop on Top benefits SOWH

The Hawaii Police Department will reach new heights Sept. 28 to 30 to support Special Olympics West Hawaii, a year-round program dedicated to helping children and adults with intellectual disabilities improve their quality of life through sports.

For Cop On Top, local police officers will spend their off-duty time Friday through Sunday in the air on scaffolding at the Walmart on Henry Street in Kailua-Kona. They will rally support and drop buckets below to those passing by for donations to Special Olympics.

All funds raised will stay in West Hawaii to be used for the local Special Olympics program and its athletes. Cop On Top is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Special Olympics West Hawaii is a nonprofit organization that is funded by donations. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000.

The organization helps athletes develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skill and friendship with fellow athletes, families and the community. Its teams compete in area games on the Big Island and Maui in order to qualify for the State Games on Oahu, where Special Olympics teams throughout the Hawaiian Islands compete for medals.

This is the ninth year the Hawaii Police Department has participated in this event, which includes participation from law enforcement officers at the county, state and federal levels statewide. Since its inception, Hawaii’s law enforcement agencies have raised more than $1.6 million through their Cop on Top efforts, according to the Police Department.

For more information, call Sandie Dela Cruz, SOWH assistant area director, at 987-5057.

Cop On Top makes WHT front page

Mahalo nui loa to West Hawaii Today, Reporter Chelsea Jensen and Freelance Photographer Laura Shimabuku for the fantastic coverage about Cop On Top, which appeared Saturday, Sept. 29, on the newspaper’s front page!

Chelsea wrote an awesome story, featuring wonderful interviews with Area Director Sandie DelaCruz and athletes Relyn Shook and Ray Donager. Laura’s super great photos really capture the scene and spirit.

View the story on the newspaper’s Website, www.westhawaiitoday.com.

Meanwhile, enjoy this excerpt:

 The community’s support for Special Olympics West Hawaii is important to Relyn Shook, who moved to Kailua-Kona from Oahu about seven months ago. At age 32, she said she’s been part of Special Olympics for 20 years and holds many medals in an array of sports. About a dozen of her gold, silver and bronze medallions hung from her neck Friday as she collected donations.

“Special Olympics (West Hawaii) has helped me go after my dreams. I was told since I was 11 years old (that) I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “But, it doesn’t matter — as long as you follow your dreams and go for your dreams. Whatever it is, whatever you want to be you can be no matter what they tell you.

04.Sep.2012 Final Thoughts from Dave Ross

Aloha all,

I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits.

After seven years with Special Olympics West Hawaii, and the last five as the area director, I am stepping down from my position. My beautiful wife, Katie, and I are moving to Portland, Ore., on Sept. 5 to further our careers in architecture and education respectively.

For the past few month,s I have been training Sandie DelaCruz to take over SOWH as the area director. Sandie is very organized and loves the program. I have tremendous confidence in her and know she will lead SOWH to even greater heights.

We have a solid athlete base and volunteer core. Of course, if you know anyone who could benefit from our program, have them contact SOWH.

We will continue to have the blog, sowh.org, up and running, as well as keep advertising upcoming events. It is Cop On Top time Sept. 28 to 30 at Walmart on Henry Street in Kailua-Kona. Please sign-up to volunteer or come by and donate.

To reach Sandie, email sowhsandie@gmail.com or call 808-987-5057.

Please continue to support the wonderful athletes of West Hawaii. Your time, connections, and contributions enhance the lives of our athletes, their families, and the West Hawaii community as a whole.  Don’t believe me? Come out to an event and see it for yourself.

Mahalo for the wonderful memories and allowing me to have such awesome times over the past seven years.

Much love.  Be well.

David Ross

25.Jul.2012 Volunteers needed for Aukake Area Games

Special Olympics soccer and bocce teams will be competing in the Aukake Area Games Saturday, July 28, at Old Kona Airport Sports Complex fields, next to the pool.

Volunteers are needed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to support the Kona, Kohala and Hilo teams, as well as ensure the event runs smoothly. In particular, Special Olympics West Hawaii, which is hosting the competition, needs help with painting and chalking the soccer fields; people to serve as linesmen and scorekeepers; help setting up and taking down tents and tables; and food donations.

Anyone interested in helping should call SOWH Area Director Dave Ross at 345-1344 or email him at specialolympicswh@gmail.com.

14.Jun.2012 SOWH athletes collect 24 medals at Summer Games

Powerlifters Isaiah Wong, Ray Donager and Skyler Carreira pocketed four gold medals apiece, leading a seven-member Special Olympics West Hawaii group that collected 24 total medals at the Special Olympics State Summer Games held May 26-27 at the University of Hawaii.

Wong (181-pound weight class), Donager (198) and Carreira (220) all posted the top squat, bench press, deadlift and combination scores in their respective weight divisions.

Wong topped the list with a combination score of 940 after squatting 315 pounds, benching 195 and deadlifting 430.

Donager totaled 695 points (235 squat, 170 bench press, 290 deadlift), and Carreira had 605 (175, 165, 265).

Three other West Hawaii powerlifters — Nancyn Honma, Dara Sabri and Micah Dela Cruz — recorded the top overall scores in their divisions.

At 198 pounds, Honma had a combination score of 380 after finishing first in the bench press (90 pounds), and second in the squat (125) and deadlift.

Sabri, a 123-pounder, posted a total score of 185 after a bench press of 45 pounds and a deadlift of 140. At 220 pounds, Dela Cruz finished with 200 points after a bench press of 65 pounds and a deadlift of 135.

Shawn Lehano placed fourth in the 165-pound division (160 points) after squatting 95 pounds and benching 65.

All seven SOWH powerlifters trained at The Club in Kona before competing in the state summer games.

01.Jun.2012 June 9 golf tournament helps SOWH

Chip in for charity The first-ever “Swingin’ for Special Olympics” charity golf tournament raises money for Special Olympics West Hawaii, a nonprofit that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

SOWH serves athletes, their families and community from Kohala through Kona to Ka’u.

Held Saturday, June 9, at the Kona Country Club Alii Mountain Course, the tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Check in is at 7 a.m.

The format is a two-person scramble, peoria scoring. The extras include closest to the pin, longest drive, $10,000 hole-in-on on par 3 17th hole, $10 each mulligans, and a silent auction.

The entry fee, which includes golf, pastries, coffee, lunch and prizes, is $90 per person. Checks should be made out to Special Olympics West Hawaii, and mailed to: Kona Country Club, ATTN: Peggy, 78-7000 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740.

Please help SOWH by participating in this tournament as a player, hole sponsor or donor.

For more information, call SOWH Area Director Dave Ross at 345-1344.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD GOLF TOURNAMENT ENTRY FORM.

 

09.May.2012 Photo slideshows reveal what SOWH is about

Thanks to Special Olympics West Hawaii volunteer Sandie Dela Cruz for the following photo slideshows, which are amazing: (Just click on the bolded word to watch.)

Bus pull raises $1,500 for SOWH

Ten teams raised $1,5000 for Special Olympics West Hawaii at the first-ever Great Alii Power Pull.

Held April 21 at the Keauhou Shopping Center, the event featured teams, consisting of 10 people, who pulled a 48,600-pound Hele-On bus. They represented Hawaiian Electric Light Co., Konawaena High School, Konawaena High School Class of 1986, Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse, Hawaii Photoman, The Club in Kona, Pacific Island Fitness, Zumba, Kona Trans and Hawaii Police Department.

The teams competed for bragging rights and titles. Pacific Island Fitness won Fastest Pull and Konawaena High won in the Lightest Combined Weight.

Thanks to everyone who participated, watched and supported this event. Also thanks to photographer Laura Shimabuku for these great photos.

06.May.2012 Letter from SOWH Area Director

Aloha gang,

We’ve had a great spring! We just completed our Great Alii Hele-On Bus Pull, the  annual First Hawaiian Law Enforcement Torch Run, as well as all four of our area competitions for swimming, track, softball/T-ball and powerlifting.

Thanks for your tremendous support of our athletes and our Special Olympics West Hawaii program.

SOWH has three upcoming events, which we could really use help with.

The first event is the Kona Town Meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, in the Makaeo Events Pavilion at Old Kona Airport. SOWH will be presenting information about our program to attendees. Anyone interested in sharing their personal experiences with Special Olympics is encouraged to attend.

The second event is the 34th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 12, at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. We need volunteers to come to the event at 6:45 a.m. and help with our aid station.

This 4-mile run/walk is filled with fun and raises money for local not-for-profit organizations. SOWH has submitted a grant application to the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association to help fund our events. The more participants we have, the larger the donation to SOWH seems to be.

Anyone interested in running or walking in the event can do so by registering at the event. The entry is $25 for children and $35 for adults. For more information, visit charitywalkhawaii.org.

The last event is SOWH’s first-ever “Swingin’ for Special Olympics” Charity Golf Tournament at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Kona Country Club. This is a new event for SOWH and should be tons of fun.

We need players in the tournament. So please come on out and sign up or tell your friends who like to golf. We also need silent auction items or prizes for players. Maybe consider a contribution from your company or donate a service and ask your boss to chip in. We need hole sponsors, meaning you and your business can put whatever you want on a particular hole and design the style of play for that hole. Maybe that’s playing a hole with a tennis ball or a hole with a 9 iron. We need volunteers to help with check-in, silent auction and make sure things roll smoothly.

This golf tournament is great way to have fun and support a great cause. The more people the entry form reach and the more businesses the donation request reach, the more successful this event will be. Please contact me if you need a flier, entry form or donation request letter. We cannot talk to every person or business on our own, but if we all connect with our spheres of influence there is no way we can not succeed.A few highlights of the tournament are there is no handicapping so every team has a great chance to win something and there’s a $10,000 cash prize for a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. That’s correct one shot can win you $10,000.

The mastermind behind this tournament is John Penner so feel free to contact him at keone531@aol.com or 913-669-6872. As always, I can be reached at specialolympicswh@gmail.com or 808-345-1344.

Take care,
Dave Ross
SOWH Area Director