April 24, 2015

Like us on Facebook       Follow us on Twitter       View our videos on YouTube     Donate Button


Shawn Wiggin has been involved with Special Olympics New Hampshire for over 30 years. Shawn first participated as an athlete in athletics while he was in middle school. He loves all sports, but his true love is basketball. He participated for many years as an athlete and after three foot surgeries he realized he just couldn't keep up. That did not sideline Shawn. He decided he wanted to be a Special Olympics basketball coach. So he went through the required coaches trainings and became a Special Olympics Certified Basketball Coach for the Keene Parks & Recreation Local Program. Shawn's mother, Sandy, explained that "he really knows the game. He knows the rules front and back!" 

Currently you can find Shawn helping the Keene Local Program with his mentor Mike Salce, in athletics.  
Shawn now has set his sights on becoming a certified coach in athletics!

Shawn's involvement with Special Olympics has not been limited to competition and coaching, he served for several years as a Global Messenger. A Global Messenger is an ambassador for the Special Olympics to recruit potential athletes, volunteers and sponsors through public presentations.

When you ask Shawn what he loves most about Special Olympics he says he loves being part of a team, but what he loves most of all is being a coach.


The Greater Manchester Area Swim Meet was held Sunday April 19th at Southern New Hampshire University. 

We had 109 athletes, representing 13 Local Programs who took part in 35 different events. The athletes competed to get their best times in preparation for the State Summer Games to be held June 5th - 7th at UNH. 

Of course we couldn't have done it without our coaches, families and volunteers; THANK YOU! 

Overall we had a great turn out, lots of hard work and most of all lots of fun!


Let the Games Begin!
Announcing Area Summer Games Dates and Locations! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Londonderry High School
If you have any questions about registration and compliance please contact Julie Chizmas at JulieC@sonh.org or call 624-1250 ext 30. If you have any questions about the event please contact Cheryl O'Shea at COShea@londonderry.org.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Hanover High School & Dartmouth College
If you have any questions about registration and compliance, please contact Julie Chizmas at JulieC@sonh.org or call 624-1250 ext 30.  If you have any questions about the event please contact Erika Daukas at Erika.Daukas@Dartmouth.edu.

Saturday, May 16th 
Keene High School
If you have any questions about registration or compliance contact Julie Chizmas at JulieC@sonh.org or call 624-1250 ext 30. If you have any questions about the event contact Mike Salce at MSalce@sau3.org or by cell phone at 313-0643.

Sunday, May 17th
Berlin High School
If you have any questions about registration or compliance please contact Julie Chizmas at JulieC@sonh.org or call 624-1250 ext 30. If you have any questions about the event please contact Pam Couture at PSCouture@sau3.org.

Sunday, May 17, 2015
Exeter High School
If you have any questions about registration and compliance please contact Julie Chizmas at JulieC@sonh.org or call 624-1250 ext 30. If you have any question about the event, please contact Jim Tufts at JTufts@sau16.org


On May 16, 2015, Seacoast Untied Foundation will host over 500 athletes playing soccer to benefit three terrific non-profit organizations. The festival style event will take place from 8-5 pm at the Seacoast United's Outdoor Club Complex in Epping. Along with the continuous soccer games, there will be activities for friends and family such as speed kick contest, juggling contest, bounce house, face painting, food and more!

Please join us in raising funds for these three great organizations and enjoy our festival on May 16th! Follow this link http://www.firstgiving.com/seacoastunitedfoundation/seacoast-united-foundation-soccerfest-2015 and create a secure fundraising page. If you have any questions regarding the event, please email Kathie Richard at krichard@seacoastunited.org .

Calling all SONH athletes! 
If you are interested in participating in the Soccer Fest, Special Olympics New Hampshire is scheduled to have ongoing games from 12:30 - 2 pm on May 16th. If you are interested in participating, please contact Mary Conroy, maryc@sonh.org to reserve your spot or for additional details.



Cassie Contigiani and Laura Davies, students at Belmont High School, have been invited to attend the Special Olympics World Youth Summit. The World Youth Summit is being held in conjunction with the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angles California, July 25 to August 22, 2015.

Cassie and Laura submitted a proposal designed to make their state, nation and world a more inclusive and accepting place. Their proposal was selected from a field of 173 total applicants from 38 countries.They will receive funding and learn, at the Special Olympics World Youth Summit, to put their proposal into an action plan to bring back to New Hampshire to promote inclusion and acceptance.

Special Olympics New Hampshire congratulates Cassie and Laura for their accomplishments!

The 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run will run through New Hampshire from May 16th through June 5th! The torch will be lit in Northern New Hampshire and travel down throughout the state leading up to the Special Olympics New Hampshire State Summer Games! 2015 marks the 31st year of partnership between Law Enforcement and SONH! Every branch of state, municipal, county and federal Law Enforcement and friends of Special Olympics are invited to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run. We encourage you to make the decision today to take part in this community event! The Torch Run's "Flame of Hope" will travel over 800 miles in various legs throughout New Hampshire, serving as the movement's largest grass roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle.

The "Flame of Hope" will visit our state capital on Thursday, June 4th for the State House Celebration beginning at 2:00 pm to honor the SONH athletes participating in Summer Games as well as celebrate the two athletes from NH who will be representing SONH in the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, CA July 25th - August 2nd. The celebration is open to the public and runners across New Hampshire are encouraged to take part in running the "Flame of Hope" into the state house.

The final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run covers a span of 33 miles from Concord to Durham. The run will kick off at the State House in Concord in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, June 5th and culminate at the Opening Ceremonies of the State Summer Games at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

If you are interested in taking part in the 2015 Torch Run, specific leg information can be found on the SONH website, www.sonh.org or by contacting Courtney Brooks at (603) 624-1250 x33 or CourtneyB@sonh.org. If you have never participated before, we encourage you to get involved and join a leg this year. The athletes of Special Olympics New Hampshire deserve your support. Together we can make the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run the most successful ever!

Running in the 2015 Torch Run? Share your photos with us on Instagram or Twitter using #NHTorchRun15!


Calling all volunteers!  Area and State Summer Games are upon us.  If you are interested in volunteering at any of the games, please contact Cathleen O'Sullivan at CathleenO@sonh.org or call 624-1250 ext. 28.  


May 9th - Greater Manchester & Lower Merrimack Area Summer Games - Londonderry High School


May 9th - Upper Valley Area Summer Games - Hanover High School and Dartmouth College


May 16th - Monadnock Area Summer Games - Keene High School


May 17th - Great North Woods Area Summer Games - Berlin High School


May 17th - Seacoast Area Summer Games - Exeter High School


June 5th - 7th - State Summer Games - University of NH, Durham

President Signs ABLE Act
By Paul M. Goyette, CFP?

On December 19, 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience legislation (ABLE Act) was signed into law by President Obama. The new law, codified under IRC Section 529A, permits qualified individuals with special needs and disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts that will help support their health and independence while preserving their means-tested government benefits. Beginning in 2015, states may choose to develop programs enabling persons with disabilities to establish accounts modeled on the popular 529 college savings plans. Certain balances and disbursements will not be considered when establishing an individual's eligibility for means-tested government benefits. The Secretary of the Department of the Treasury will begin to develop regulations that will guide the states in terms of the information required to be presented in order to open an ABLE account. This information will likely include documentation needed to meet the requirements of ABLE account eligibility for a person with a disability, the definition details of "qualified disability expenses" and the documentation that will be needed for tax reporting.

The law aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The legislation explains that an ABLE account would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources. The law will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual's eligibility for any federal benefits program.

The intent of the ABLE Act is to provide individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The ABLE Act recognizes the extra and significant costs of living with a disability. These include costs related to raising a child with significant disabilities or a working age adult with disabilities, for accessible housing and transportation, personal assistance services, assistive technology and health care not covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Additionally, an ABLE account may provide more choice and control for the beneficiary and family. With an ABLE account, account owners will have the ability to control their funds and if circumstances change, still have other options available to them.

We will keep you informed with updates about the ABLE Act and its implementation to help you decide how and when to incorporate the ABLE Act accounts into your own personal planning. Stay tuned for our next article discussing the ABLE Act, where we will review specific qualification and funding guidelines, as well as who may be a good candidate for an ABLE account. Please feel free to contact us with questions or for further discussion.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual, nor intended as tax or legal advice. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. 

Prior to investing in an ABLE Act account investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state ABLE Act program. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.



May 2
Global Messenger Training
May 9
Lower Merr Area Summer Games
May 9
Upper Valley Area Summer Games
May 16
Monadnock Area Summer Games
May 16
May 17
Seascoast Area Summer Games
May 17
Great North Woods Area Summer Games
May 18
Law Enforcement Torch Run Begins
May 27
Unified Relay Across America 
Tilton - Concord
May 28
Unified Relay Across America
Concord - Manchester
June 4
LETR State House Celebration
June 5
LETR Final Leg
Concord - Durham
June 5 - 7
State Summer Games
June 20
Cop on Top




Special Olympics New Hampshire is grateful for the annual support of our Mission Partners who help bring our programs to life.