Area26 news & updates
December 2021 | Issue 28
Winter Solstice special
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a shortened edition to wish all of Area 26 Seasons' Best.

We have a few follow ups from the State Games. Basketball and Winter sports practices have begun. The January edition will be released on the 10th. After that, the normal start-of-month schedule will resume.

May your holidays be full of warmth and cheer. Wishing you a new year of peace and joy! See you in 2022!!
The Screaming Eagles caught up with the November edition - here are their photos...
Soccer - Screaming Eagles - Silver Medal
SOVA provided a number of photos from the new sports pavilion in VA Beach. They photographed the volleyball and opening are several of OUR Area teams...
Volleyball - Area 26 Warhawks
Opening Ceremonies
Cross Country and Snowshoeing Practice
Our brave Winter Outdoors crew are getting ready to trek across the snows of West Virginia and Pennsylvania next month...
As Paul Simon said, before you learn how to fly, you gotta learn how to fall...
Holiday Fun!!
Some of our athletes have already submitted some photos of the season.. Please send in photos of what you did over the holiday, and we will include them in the January edition!
The Legends got some holiday help for their last practice of 2021. They were joined by Tori Marquis who has just joined the Area volunteers as a coach and veteran coach Beleny Reese and also by Kyler Reese of the GMU Green Machine.

The reunion brought back together some of the group who have been on the court together for over a decade!!

They all wish you a very happy holiday season.
2021 Golf Fundraiser
The Annual tradition of a golf tournament to raise funds for Area 26 resumed this year with a very special day Monday October 18th at the Springfield Country Club. Players and Area SO Volunteers came out for the round, followed by lunch and a silent auction. This year, the auction was an extra special event, with unique items on the block.
For the first time the Area Council donated a case of hand selected wine bottles for release. Also, local distiller John Morris personally donated four medal-winning liquors from Silverback signed by the maker.

The headline prize was a custom Squier Telecaster Electric Guitar signed by famed Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers Guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter.
Axe-man Baxter in his element
Council Chair Elaine Tilton, your editor and Skunk at a charity event.
The lucky winner!!
Overall, the event raised more than $40,000 for our Area's Sports!! Special thanks to the Golf Committee for putting together a fabulous event; Mark Emery, Robin Utz, Mark Fies, Sheila Erhardt, Elaine Tilton, Veronica Jennings and Maureen Buckley.
Virtual Activities...
Hi Athletes,

As always, details and schedule can be found on the online resources page on the Website.
Next Up...Polar Plunge Season!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (not really...). We have several chilly opportunities to Plunge live in VA this Winter, and one of them is before the holidays...:

Not sure where to Plunge? You've got 5 great options!
🐧 Mosaic | January 15th
🐧 Virginia Beach | February 4th & 5th
🐧 Prince William | February 19th
🐧 New River | February 26th

Area 26 will probably have participants at all 5, so when you go, look for someone you know!

The donation and registration pages will be up soon, so look for a blast with the links!ttp
IMPORTANT: Please always remember when registering or donating to indicate your affiliation with Area 26 so that we get 1/2 of the proceeds to fund the local program!!
A message from the Fairfax County Government...

As we all get ready to enjoy the holiday season, we need to consider how we can best ensure that the time we spend with families and friends keeps everyone safe and healthy. Cases of COVID-19 are increasing and there is a new variant, Omicron, that has been found in certain parts of the country. At this time, we have not identified Omicron locally but the number of COVID-19 cases has been going up and the Northern Virginia region has returned to high transmission level this week.

The remainder of the information is available at the button below. Please use caution and be safe during the holiday season so that we can ALL play in 2022.
Athletes Corner
  • by Max Hershberger
Hello Area 26!!

Max is getting ready for holiday travel and will resume his article next month....

Happy Holidays!!

Max Hershberger
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Monthly Update...Will Return in 2022!
Ongoing Reminder - Return to Activities Resources

  • The plan to restart our sports follows the SOVA guidelines for the return-to-play effort (button #1). [NOTE: COVID-19 Educational material are on pp 20-24]

  • We continue to encourage our community to get vaccinated as soon as they can. *Athletes and Volunteers must be vaccinated and provide proof in order to participate in Area 26 close contact and/or team sports, staying overnight at away games, multi-day events and state games. Information about getting vaccinated can be found (button #2)

  • Each athlete and Volunteer will have to complete a COVID Waiver Form. The link is now to an updated copy which adds vaccination status - (button #3).[3] 

  • SOVA and the CDC provide information about what it means to be a “high risk” participant, and we encourage you to follow the guidance of both SOVA and the CDC in this regard (button #4).

  • Athletes with an expired Medical Form, will have to submit updates to all forms. The package now contains 8 pages - please complete and submit the full package (button #5).
Athletes, please email completed athlete forms AND front/back images of Vaccination Cards to: (this will deliver them to both the Area AND to SOVA - only the one email address is required)

In preparation for return-to-play, we are including a link below to the Volunteer Class A Certification Process on the Area 26 website. 

Volunteer Class A, and coach certifications must be updated every 3 years. Many certifications have expired, and many are due to expire. All volunteers are also required to have a COVID19 Waiver on file (button #3 above... ).
Volunteers, please email completed volunteer forms, certifications AND front/back images of Vaccination Cards to: (as with the athleteform email, this will deliver them to both the Area AND to SOVA - only the one email submission address is required)
Area 26 Policy...
Face Mask 1
All athletes and volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination if participating in close contact and/or team sports. Additionally, SOVA Policy requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all athletes, volunteers and coaches participating in indoor, overnight or away events. This includes any local, regional, state or national invitational events. Proof of vaccination must be sent to SOVA and Area 26 (please see Return to Activities Resources in the section below). 

Athlete families, please verify with your coaches that your paperwork has been approved before arriving for practice or events. The coaching and volunteer staff cannot accept the forms in person and grant immediate access, as SOVA has the approval authorization.

NOTE: When you submit the athlete paperwork via the email address (and volunteer packages to the address) they go both to the Area AND to SOVA for processing.
Stay Healthy, Stay Active!!
We love to have your pictures - so keep busy and...
Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Please continue to share information about this newsletter and website with those you know in the community so that we can better share the wonder of our special athletes and volunteers. To sign up to receive the newsletter, go to our webform Newsletter Subscription
Area 26 Points of Contact
Area 26 Council

Elaine Tilton

Chuck Adkins-Blanch
Patrick DeLapp
Billy Duquette
Jeffrey Eskridge
Christine Fowler
Max Hershberger
Jay Hoffmeier
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Katherine Martin
Jeff McGiboney
Tejas Patel
Nancy Robbins
Bernie Woolfley
Area 26 Special Olympics |
Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Volunteer Coordinator
Tejas Patel

Athlete Representative
Max Hershberger

Medical Coordinator
Christine Fowler

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings
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