Area26 news & updates
July 2020 | Issue 11
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
A Message from Special Olympics International...
Attached at the button below is a link to a video message from the head of Special Olympics International. It is a specific response to the new crisis within the United States and the push for Global Inclusiveness. We in Area 26 hope that when everything settles that the world and our Country are more open to treating everyone as if they are important and have value. This is, after all, the core message of Special Olympics.
Virtual Torch Run ...
Athletes from all over Virginia joined staff in the first ever virtual execution of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The goal was for runners, walkers and cyclists to contribute to a 1900 mile pool and raise funds/awareness for SO. 8 members of the Area 26 community participated under the Cirque du SoreLegs banner, and raised nearly $4000 for our local programs and games.
A special thanks to the donors who gave so generously to make sure that when we get back to play that resources will be available.
If you missed our other notes on the run, you can still contribute - use the button below to donate directly to the team (50/50 share with SOVA).
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Continue the Quest...
Tom, Chris and Kyler. Three athletes on a mission to stay Strong, Fit and Fast!! Here is the latest...
Kyler putting the touch on a spiral...
Chris matching Kyler's throw on the return
Tom getting in some miles
They all keep busy every day - and so should you!! Your latest submitted pictures are here - keep working out and keep sending them!!
Staying Active is the key for now!!
While staying physically active and fit is definitely a focus, we all need to keep busy doing things that matter and things that are just FUN. Here are some pictures of our Area members and how they are using the time...
Coach Marc Egan out enjoying nature
Max Hershberger and Chris Robinson doing their Batman and Robin impression...
Michael England KICKING the football...
And Tom Merz CATCHING it!!
Athletes and Coaches at a social distance gathering...
Coach Sascha (above and below) training two future coaches...Talia outside and her future sister inside...
Jay Choi racing with the wind!
Kyler Reese and Chris Robinson performing...
...and singing..
The outdoor sports association, hangin' OUT:
Right to left...Michael England, Tom Merz, Austin Ward, and Dayquan Talbert
Ben Fowler building a paper mache dragon
Kyle Holdener racing for the finish line...
Coach Christine and Ben Fowler on a river hike
Painter Gabe Mayuga continues to make great art.
David Kellett-Forsyth hosting a “Maskerade" card game!!
PS4 Group Chat staying in touch...
Zach and Mark Fowler braving the cold waters at Corolla NC beach 
Vivian Alonso continues her 8 week dance marathon
Late night gamer Jeff Cogswell burning the midnight oil...
We love to have your inputs - so keep busy and...
Stay Healthy, Stay Active!!
Carrying the Torch...
Area 26 had three teams of participants in the Torch Run event, and together they and our generous donors have raised over $3000 for the local program. Here are some pictures of some of the athletes in motion...
Ethan Lee accelerating
Joey Roney maintaining pace
Caden Huybrechts in motion
Barry Tilton and Kyler Reese at mile 3 of a 4.5 miler...
Coach Lucia and the OakMarr Marlins made a team event out of the effort and together added an additional $1900 to the Area's total. Thanks and WOW!
Sport of the Month: Bocce
  • by Matt Wheeler
This month's featured sport is one of the few which is pretty easy to play with social distance. The things that get close are the balls, not the players. The Area 26 Bocce Team is a very close knit and fun group.

The team was joined by the Fairfax County Police during the Fall 2019 season. It was great experience for the players to have the Fairfax County Special Olympics Torch Run Police cruiser, Jack (Fairfax County First Responder K9) and several officers attended practice to provide inspiration and support to all the Athletes. 
During the 2019 Fall Games in Virginia Beach, 6 athletes and 2 unified partners from the Bocce team earned Gold and Silver medals in single, doubles and unified competitions. It was a great experience for all the athletes and partners that competed.
This spring, the team was honored to receive a special inspirational message from the Fairfax County Police Department. Each of the athletes were given a shout out from police officers. Shout out was also given from our special K9 Officer Jack. The team very much appreciates our partnership and special relationship that we have with Fairfax County Police. Thank you to the Fairfax County police for their support of Special Olympics.

Thank you also to all the coaches, parents, siblings, and guardians for their support of the Area 26 Bocce team.
Here is the link to the video:
Return to activities survey...
Last week, a survey went to athletes in Area 26 as part of the effort to prepare for Statewide return-to-play.

Your inputs are important to determining the best way forward. If you have not responded to the survey, you may still do so at the button. Responses will be accepted till July 5th.
Later in July, Area leadership, coaches and volunteers will receive the Return to Activities Plan and will be provided dates for training opportunities. The current plan is for some efforts to begin at the start of August. This Return to Activities start date of August 1, 2020 includes any event (sports, fundraising or social) that involve athlete participation. 

Guidelines regarding fundraising events that do not include athletes also are being developed and will be shared soon. 
In Memorium...
Area 26 experienced a loss last month with the passing of multi-sport athlete Avery Trueheart.

Avery passed in his sleep on June 9th, and is survived by his family Parents Timothy and Aleena Trueheart and his brothers are Arty, Timmy, and Anthony. 

Please join us in thoughts and prayers for them in this sad time.
Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Athletes Corner
  • by Billy Duquette
On the week of June 8 through June 13, Special Olympics Virginia had it’s first-ever Virtual Torch Run, to help and to support it’s athletes during the Covid-19.

All week long the 342 athletes who participated in the event used an app called Strava to collect data on the 342 members that either walked, ran or used a bike over 5 days.

At the end of the week, Special Olympics Virginia did a live facebook video of the Law Enforcement finishing the final leg to lit the flame of hope down in Richmond, Virginia. The totals at the end of torch run were 5,300 miles and raised over $83,000!!
Talk to you next month,
- Billy
Upcoming Events
Still holding out hope for the Fall Season...
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

Patrick DeLapp
Billy Duquette
Bruce Fingerhut
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Nancy Robbins
Paul Tierney
Bernie Woolfley
Area 26 Special Olympics |
Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Volunteer Coordinator
Bruce Fingerhut

Medical Coordinator
Barb DeLisa

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings
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