Casey's General Stores Holds Special Olympics Promotion During the Month of June
On behalf of Casey’s General Stores and Coca-Cola Company we are excited to announce that the Annual Casey’s General Stores promotion has begun! During the month of June, Casey’s General Stores will be doing a Round Up for Special Olympics in 16 states, including Iowa. New to this annual promotion is the opportunity to "Round Up" for Special Olympics while checking out at the register. Special Olympics will also receive proceeds from each 20 oz. Coca-Cola drink and pizza slice combo sold.

We would like to thank Casey’s General Stores and Coca-Cola Company for their continued support and efforts advocating and fundraising for Special Olympic athletes.
Summer Games Recap
Thursday brought an exciting start to the two and a half day event. There was competition in athletics, bocce, cycling, soccer and tennis. The Law Enforcement Torch Run® Final Leg team brought the Flame of Hope to Ames from downtown Des Moines. The evening included the MVP Reception and the highly anticipated Opening Ceremony.
2019 Award Winners
Male Athlete of the Year - Brandon Baier
Female Athlete of the Year - Christina Rasmussen
Coach of the Year - Jason Miller
Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year - Ron Schmidt
Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year - Brooke Larson and Kaylynn Patterson
Outstanding Summer Games Community Volunteer - Jennifer Jones
Outstanding Summer Games Iowa State University Volunteer - Chris Gallit
Outstanding Service Award - Martin Wright and Will Schafer
Outstanding Media Partner of the Year - Des Moines Radio Group
Outstanding Corporate Partner of the Year - Niece Trucking
Knights of Columbus Award - Sue Davis
Scott Bryant Unsung Hero Award - Doug WIlk

Friday started with heavy rain which forced rain plans to be utilized for the first time in a long time. Bocce and the Olympic Festival ended up being canceled, but all of the other sports competitions and Healthy Athlete screenings still took place, some in alternate locations.

Saturday was a quick morning with only the final athletics competitions taking place.

Iowa State University and the whole Ames community was once again an outstanding host and truly created an atmosphere of inclusion for our athletes. We would like to thank all of the athletes, coaches, volunteers, families and spectators that helped make this event such a huge success.

Meet the 2019 All-Iowa Special Olympics Honorees
The Des Moines Sports Awards honors top athletes from across Iowa in 21 sports categories. The Des Moines Register is the host of this award show that features various awards, contests, special guests Lolo Jones and 2017 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Warner and a red carpet entrance. Special Olympics Iowa has three award categories including Girl Athlete of the Year, Unified Team of the Year and Boy Athlete of the Year.

Girl Athlete of the Year Finalists
Gracie Assmann - Harlan Community Schools
Kayla Butler - Griswold Tigers
Alli Schneckloth - Eldridge North Schott Lancers

Unified Team of the Year Finalists
Coby Fineran and Carter Irlmeier - IKM-Manning
Cole Quinlin and Mallory Burdt - Ankeny Centennial
Tina Sue and KyLee Richards - Creston Schools

Boy Athlete of the Year Finalists
Nick Mast - Ankeny Centennial
Matthew Merritt - Sioux City Knights
Kamron Zollars - Woodward Grandwood Hawks

Congratulations to this year's finalist!

Event Details
Date: June 21, 2019
Time: Red Carpet begins at 6:00pm & Award Show begins at 7:00pm
Location: Wells Fargo Arena Des Moines, Iowa
Plane Pull® Presented by
The Lohse Family Foundation

Create a team of your strongest friends and try your hand at pulling a Delta CRJ-900 12 feet! Teams of up to 10 will test their strength against a Delta CRJ-900 airplane weighing more than 80,000 pounds. Teams will compete to see who can pull the airplane 12 feet in the fastest time.

* *   Teams will get to pull twice, with their fastest time being recorded. Both pulls will be consecutive.

Event Details:
Date:    Saturday, June 8, 2019
Location:  Des Moines International Airport ( Endeavor Air/South Cargo Ramp)
Time:   10:00 a.m.                    
Cost:    $500 per team ($50 per person for a team of 10)

Athletes Showcase More Than Just Athletic Talent in May
The Bill Riley Talent Search and presenting sponsor, Hy-Vee, held the first ever Shining Stars Show on May 11. This new program gives those with special needs the opportunity to compete in Iowa's biggest talent search. The talent show took place on May 11 at the Maytag Auditorium and was televised on Iowa Public Television. The 11 acts have received the opportunity to perform at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, August 17, on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage at 4:30 p.m.
Unified Golf and Bocce Season is Right Around the Corner
Special Olympics Iowa Unified Golf and Bocce pairs individuals with intellectual disabilities with Unified partners (golfers without intellectual disabilities) to compete in a team environment. Special Olympics Unified Sports®  teams join people of similar age and ability, making practices fun and games challenging and exciting for all.

Several skill levels are offered to meet the skill level of all athletes:
  • 9-hole: Pro (knows the game and skills for a full golf game)
  • 6-hole: Intermediate (knows the basics of golf but still improving skills)
  • 3-hole: Beginner (just learning the game of golf)

There is no charge to participate. Lunch and water will be provided along with a tournament t-shirt and awards at the end of play. This year there will be nine Unified Golf tournaments and one Bocce tournament.

Dubuque Unified Golf - (Derby Grange Golf & Recreation) 7/20/19
Vinton Unified Golf - (Vinton Skate & Activity Center) 7/20/19
Spencer Unified Golf - (Spencer Municipal Golf Course) 8/11/19
Muscatine Unified Golf - (Muscatine Municipal Golf Course) 9/11/19
Davenport Unified Golf & Bocce - (Red Hawk Golf Course) 9/12/19
Cedar Rapids Unified Golf - (Twin Pines Golf Course) 9/14/19
Jester Park Unified Golf - (Jester Park Golf Course) 9/28/19
Sioux City Unified Golf - (Sun Valley Golf Course) 10/05/19
River Hills Unified Golf - (River Hills School) TBD
Fundraising Central

The Torch Run Supporter T-Shirts
are Now on Sale!

Each year, law enforcement officers throughout the state sell supporter T-shirts to raise money for Special Olympics Iowa and show their support for the Torch Run. Buy your T-shirt today!

Swing with the Celebrities Golf Tournament
Presented by Brian Ferentz

This is a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations to raise money and support Special Olympics Iowa athletes by joining current and former University of Iowa athletes and staff for a day of golf.

Event Details
Date: June 28, 2019
Location:  Brown Deer Golf Course
Cost:   $150 per person
Karaoke Night at Jeannie's Bottle
Jeannie's Bottle

 Athletes are invited to Jeannie's Bottle for a karaoke night on Tuesday, June 11 from 4-7 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Location: 3839 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, Iowa
Coaches Corner
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2018-2019 SOIA Coaches' Guide is now available on our website !

Becoming a coach and coaching re-certification is now easier than ever!
Check out our new "Become a Coach" page:
You can now become certified/re-certified ONLINE !
Contact Bruce Wilson ( ) if you have any questions about coaching certification.

Registration Forms Available Online
Registration forms for Challenge Days and Young Athlete Play Days are now available online! Go to the Participation Forms page on our website to view registration forms for all SOIA events.

Share Your Story!
Do you know someone with a great story to share? We're always looking to share our athletes' stories in the newsletter. Please email Karen Whitman at with your story ideas.
Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar for event updates!

1- Dallas County Sheriff's All-Wheel Show
8 - Plane Pull
8 - Emmetsburg Challenge Day
10 - 2019 Youth Summit
15 - Lake City Challenge Day
28- Swing with the Celebrities Golf Tournament presented by Brian Ferentz

11- Regional Softball Skills Competition (Manning)
11- River Hills Summer Challenge Day
13- East Central Conference Softball Tournament (Cedar Rapids)
13- West Central Conference Softball Tournament (Des Moines)
13- West Conference Softball Tournament (Sioux City)
20- Dubuque Unified Golf Tournament
20- Vinton Unified Golf Tournament
20- Regional Softball Skills Competition (Muscatine)

1- Glenwood Challenge Day
3- State Softball Skills & Team Softball Tournament
11- Spencer Unified Golf Tournament
14 - Jim Jordan Memorial Golf Classic