IT IS #RespectWeek
Respect Week 2020 has officially begun! From pep rallies and good luck notes to billboards and social media posts, the Special Olympics Iowa staff is excited to see how everyone celebrates inclusion and respect throughout the week.

Print off the signs below to share what Respect and Inclusion means to you. Be sure to use the hashtags #InclusionRevolution, #RespectWeek, #ChooseToInclude and #SpecialOlympicsIowa when sharing about the week.

New, 4 Region Split to Special Olympics Iowa Areas
Beginning this month, there is new regional alignment for the 11 Special Olympics Iowa areas. The four regions include Northeast, Southeast, West and Central.
Regional Directors
Northeast Director - Kirsten DeVary
Southeast Director- Cheyene Robertson
West Director - Katie Schrodt
Central Director - JC Yates
Meet Katie Schrodt - Regional Director for the West Region
Katie earned her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. Katie has had the opportunity to intern with several different organizations including the World Food Prize Foundation, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach and the Iowa State Fair. These opportunities have helped her gain skills in communications, data entry, event planning and volunteer management.

Prior to joining Special Olympics Iowa, Katie completed a three month fellowship in Uganda with the non-profit organization, Field of Hope. Katie has experience providing Respite and Supported Community Living services with Respite Connection.

Katie is excited to meet more people and be a part of the Special Olympics Iowa team!

Meet Cheyene Robertson - Regional Director for the Southeast Region
Cheyene is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and a Certified Nonprofit Professional. Nonprofit work and giving back to her community are strong passions for Cheyene! This passion has given her a high level of involvement with organizations such as Relay for Life, Blessman International, and Dance Marathon. Cheyene's strong background in event coordinating and volunteer management comes from her experience helping with large-scale events. When she is not volunteering her time, Cheyene loves to explore Des Moines, travel, and take her pup, Benelli, on many outdoor adventures.

Cheyene got involved with Special Olympics while attending UNI. She volunteered for the Northeast Spring Games where she served yearly as an athlete escort. Cheyene has also volunteered her time at the South Central Spring Games in past years.

Cheyene looks forward to working with everyone in her areas and experiencing all of the different opportunities Special Olympics has to offer its athletes.

Meet Kirsten and JC in the April newsletter.
Mid-Winter Tournament Changes to be Aware of
Site Change
  • This year the cheer and dance competition will take place at Liberty High School in North Liberty, instead of Iowa City West High School.

Healthy Athletes® Expands Screening Offerings
Friday
  • Medfest will be offered at the Marriott from 9am-6pm (New this year)
  • Health Promotions will be offered at the Marriott from 3pm-8pm
  • Special Smiles will be offered at the Marriott from 1pm-6pm

Saturday
  • Medfest will be offered at Liberty High School from 9am-2pm (New this year)
  • Health Promotions will be offered at two locations, Liberty High School and the University of Iowa Field House, from 9am-2pm (New this year)
  • Healthy Hearing will be offered at Liberty High School from 9am-1pm
Join in on the fun at Mid-Winter Tournament by becoming an event volunteer.

Iowa Clinical Director Among Members of the First Advanced Clinical Directors Training in US
In January, Cindy Hauber, Special Olympics Iowa FUNfitness Clinical Director, traveled to Kentucky for the US Advanced Clinical Director Training. The training focused on creating a resource to support follow up care for Healthy Athletes referrals, developing action plans for each CD community, and evaluating the first multidisciplinary event.

Cindy brought back to Iowa a comprehensive understanding of the new Healthy Athletes programming that she can share with fellow clinical director.
Sponsor Spotlight: Lincoln Savings Bank
Lincoln Savings Bank continually strives to find new ways to demonstrate their dedication to the Special Olympics Iowa athletes. They are the presenting partner for the Cedar Falls/Waterloo Polar Plunge®, take part in RESPECT week and hold a night at the Iowa Cubs for athletes. Above and beyond the corporate initiatives, Lincoln Savings Bank employees can be seen volunteering at statewide events or taking the plunge at the Cedar Falls/Wateloo Polar Plunge.
Lincoln Savings Bank's employees are true champions of inclusion!
Fundraising Central
Have you Ordered Your Torch Run Supporter T-Shirt?

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!

The "Coolest" Thing You will Do
All Year 
Whether you plunge solo or with coworkers, friends or family this is sure to be the "coolest" thing you do this year! The Polar Plunge is a signature fundraiser for Special Olympics and offers a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations to raise money and support Special Olympics Iowa athletes by jumping into frigid waters.

Council Bluffs -Sat., March 21
Cedar Falls/Waterloo -Sat., April 18
Cedar Rapids -Sat., April 25
Iowa City -Sat., April 25

If you are interested in joining your local Polar Plunge planning committee, please reach out to Maddie Nelson by emailing mnelson@soiowa.org or calling 515.986.5520.
Join us April 30 for the Texas Roadhouse Luncheon

Join us on Thursday, April 30 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a "free" lunch served by local law enforcement. Participating Texas Roadhouse locations include Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Dubuque, Urbandale and Sioux City.

Meal includes pulled pork, side, rolls and tea/pop/water.

Coaches Corner
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2019-2020 SOIA Coaches' Guide is now available on our website !

Trainings 
You can now become certified/re-certified ONLINE ! Contact Dawn Criss if you have any questions about coaching certification. Also check out our "Become a Coach" page !
Applications/Participation Forms

Downloadable Applications

Registration Forms Available Online
Go to the Participation Forms page on our website to view registration forms for all SOIA events.
Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar for event updates. Register to volunteer at one of our upcoming events HERE .
March
1-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
1-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
2-6 - Respect Week
7-Des Moines Challenge Day
8-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
8-Northeast Area Spring Games
8-Northeast Area Swimming
10-NAIA Unified Basketball Clinic
10-Harlan Young Athletes Play Day
13&14-Mid-Winter Tournament
18-Inclusion Day on the Hill
21-Council Bluffs Polar Plunge®
24-West Des Moines Young Athletes Play Day
24-University of Iowa Unified Volleyball Intramurals
26-Northwest Area Swimming
26-North Area Swimming
28-Cedar Falls Challenge Day
29-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
29-Unified Fest at Iowa State University
31-University of Iowa Unified Volleyball Intramurals

April
2-Oskaloosa Young Athletes Play Day
3-ISU Polar Plunge®
3-5 - NIRSA Unified Basketball Championships
4-Central Area Spring Games
4-East Area Spring Games
4-South Central Area Spring Games
5-Drake Unified Soccer Intramurals
7-Southwest Area Spring Games
7-University of Iowa Unified Volleyball Intramurals
9-Cedar Rapids Young Athletes Play Day
11-East Central Area Spring Games & Swimming
14-West Central Area Spring Games & Swimming
14-University of Iowa Unified Volleyball Intramurals
14-South Central Area Swimming
14-Southwest Area Swimming
15-North Area Spring Games
16-North Central Area Spring Games
17-Ames Young Athletes Play Day
18-Northwest Area Spring Games
18-Southeast Area Spring Games
18-Cedar Falls/Waterloo Polar Plunge®
21-Des Moines Young Athletes Play Day
21-University of Iowa Unified Volleyball Intramurals
23-Dubuque Young Athletes Play Day
24-River Hills Young Athletes Play Day
25-Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Polar Plunges®
28-University of Iowa Unified Volleyball Intramurals
28-Youth Games
29-Des Moines Early Childhood Young Athletes Play Day
30-Ankeny Young Athletes Play Day
30-Texas Roadhouse Lucheon

May
6-Iowa City Young Athletes Play Day
21-23 - 2020 Summer Games

Future 2020 Dates to Note:
Athlete Leadership Training (September 18-19, 2020)
Youth Unified Summit (June 8-10, 2020)
Healthy Athletes Training (June 26-27, 2020)