Area26 news & updates
January 2022 | Issue 29
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.

EDITOR'S NOTE: At this time, we are still awaiting revised guidance for indoor and away events. There will be a blast issued and a website update when new information is available.
Snow Day

2022 began with our first real Area snow in 2 years. Some of our athletes and their families took the opportunity for a bit of Winter fun. Here are some pictures. If you have any more, please submit them and we will put them in the next edition.
Tom and Kevin Bennett
Ben Fowler
Mike England
David Kellett-Forsyth (Fit5)
Hoang Phan
Jeff Cogswell
Chris Robinson (Fit5)
Powerlifter John Fredrick
Sean Minnick
Noah Lelchuck
Alayna Brown
Jay Choi
Dominic Mustachio
Jacqui Callaway
Austin Ward
Council Member Tejas Patel
Tom Merz (Fit5)
Max Hershberger (Fit5)
Jeffrey Eskridge
Olaf's House
Alina Tilton and
Kyler Reese (Fit5)
Editor Barry Tilton
Council Chair Elaine Tilton
Having fun or getting things done outside - send us your winter pics!!
Holiday Fun!!
Clearly our Area knows how to celebrate the holiday season - here is a collection of holiday smiles!
Virtual Activities...
Hi Athletes,

As always, details and schedule can be found on the online resources page on the Website. (The pictures are MY snow day...)
Athletes Corner
  • by Max Hershberger
Hello Area 26!!

Hope you all had great holidays and Happy New Year to you all

- I encourage you to keep on staying Hydrated during the day, exercising daily, eating good healthy meals and getting good hours of sleep as well.

I am still working out as a Fit5 member, Also, every Wednesdays there’s Youniquely Fit workout on zoom at 6 pm. If you are interested on joining, contact Mike Frew.

I hope you all enjoyed watching the snow storm last week, and got out there to enjoy the snow. You KNOW I did. I shoveled the driveway and took a long walk in the winter wonderland 
(in the meadow we built a snowman, walking in the winter wonderland) 

Billy Duquette gave me a good question for you all. What are your Resolution Special Olympics goals in 2022 year. This is what Billy goals are this coming year: "To Continue to get better on my bowling game heading into the spring and summer programs"

Here are my upcoming goals:

  1. To get better every day and complete my sports events.
  2. To become a good team leader and be a good sportsman. 

Make sure you keep on practicing on your winter sports to prepare for your game day. For Winter season I play basketball for GMU Gold Rush. I know it’s frustrating hearing your sport games and events are getting canceled, but safety comes first. Hopefully we will have games next month in February. For now, stay positive - that’s how to make things a lot better 👊🏻

For your Winter Sports, remember unvaccinated will not be able to participate... Please get your shot and booster shot if you can that way we can make the season safe and enjoyable. 

Talk to you next month

Max Hershberger
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Monthly Update...Will Return later in 2022!
Repeating from December - A message from the Fairfax County Government...

With the Upsurge of Omicron, Northern Virginia region has reached a new high transmission level this week. We urge everyone to follow CDC and Government guidance to reduce illness and allow us to return to play as soon as possible.

The County article is available at the button below. Please use caution and stay safe.
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.

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
When you click, scroll to the bottom of the Site Homepage