February 12, 2015

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And it's a wrap!  Another exciting and successful Penguin Plunge weekend is in the books! This year's 16th Annual Penguin Plunge and 7th Annual High School Plunge took place on January 31st and February 1st in Hampton Beach. Plungers braved the elements featuring 20 + mile per hour winds and chilly temperatures at times dipping into single digits with the wind chill!  Hats off to all of our plungers and spectators who came out despite the weather to celebrate one of our most successful Penguin Plunge events yet!


On Saturday, Hampton Beach swarmed with Plungers decked out in their best Disney outfits including 101 spotted Nashua South students representing the well-known Disney film 101 Dalmatians.  Event highlights included honoring our committed four year Plungers and the much anticipated costume parade. 593 high school students, faculty and staff took the Plunge into the Atlantic raising a total of $192,015 with an amazing per Plunger average of $323.28. 


Plungers are Special Olympics New Hampshire's Superheroes!  Participants ranging from Wonder Woman to Superman to Thor began filing into the Casino early on Sunday for the 16th Annual Penguin Plunge.   Following an entertaining superhero filled costume parade, 509 Plungers ran into the chilly ocean water raising a total of $418,635 with a record breaking per Plunger average of $822! 


A special thank you to the Penguin Plunge Management team for all of their time and effort leading up to and during Plunge weekend. The event was a huge success thanks to their commitment and dedication.  


This event would not be possible without our outstanding and committed volunteers.  Our organization depends on over 200 Penguin Plunge volunteers to execute this event, each volunteer who helped this past weekend played a huge role in the success of the event.  Thank you!


Finally, our sponsors!  Our sponsors allow us to go above and beyond with our events thanks to their additional dollars and in kind donations. Thank you to our radio sponsor WOKQ 97.5 and our TV sponsor WMUR TV9, our coffee sponsor McDonalds - The Napoli Group, our drink sponsor Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, our pampered penguin sponsor Drinkable Arts, our costume parade sponsor Five Guys Burgers and Fries and our ice sculpture sponsor Safeway Training and Transportation Services.  We'd also like to thank Marshall's Tent and Event Rental, Hampton Casino Ballroom, the Town of Hampton, Dicks Sporting Goods, Amica Insurance, Paul Goyette and Michelle Wheeler of Northeast Planning Associates, Dave's Septic, DF Richard Energy, Logo Loc, E&R Cleaners, Applebee's, SIAA, Bank of America, Bill Blain Sound, Granite State Race Services, A&M Signs with Style, Inc., DRED - Seacoast Division of State Parks, NH Fish & Game, Hampton Police Department, Hampton Fire/Rescue, Hampton Fire Department , Hampton Parks and Recreation Department, Hampton Public Works, Strafford County Community Works Program, Keene Parks & Recreation, Holiday Inn Concord and the Nashua Police Department.





What a great day at the Upper Valley Winter Games.  We were fortunate that the snow remained to the south of us so we were able to have 112 athletes from NH and VT compete in alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and  cross country skiing.  The day began with a continental breakfast in the lodge.  Thank you to the wonderful volunteers  The parade of Athletes led to an opening ceremonies where John Beers of Connecticut River Athletes cited the Athlete Oath followed by  Matthew Marcotte of North Country United skiing down the mountain with the Lyme Police Chief to light the Flame of Hope. 


Competition ran through the day, with many great volunteers to assist from Dartmouth college as well as Hanover High School.   


We would like to thank the Upper Valley Management Team and all of the volunteers  for all of their hard work and another great run event. 


This past Saturday,  Coe-Brown Northwood Academy welcomed almost 200 SONH athletes to compete in snowshoeing and cross country skiing for the first time in four years.  We started with a bit of snow in the morning, but then it cleared up, and competition started rolling!   


A huge thank you to the staff and students at Coe-Brown, in particular Shawn White, Games Director, and the girls' basketball team for volunteering their time and effort to make the day successful!  All of our athletes had a great day, and enjoyed the competition before we head to State Winter Games in a couple weeks!

Due to the storm on Sunday, February 8th the Central Area Winter Games at Pat's Peak were cancelled.  Athletes will still be able to compete at the State Winter Games in Waterville Valley.



Many people make a New Year's resolution to create or update their estate plans.  Even though it is already February, there is no time like the present to get all of your plans in place. 


Special Olympics has complimentary information that can help you plan or update your will.  Our free materials describe the process of estate planning with steps that take you through planning, creating and updating your will, identifying a team to help you and other key decisions.  You'll find valuable tools, questions and answers, and a glossary of terms to guide your planning toward a financial foundation for the future.


If you would like to receive these materials, or if you have any questions on how you can include Special Olympics in your estate plans, contact us toll-free at (866) 690-3951 or email us at plannedgiving@specialolympics.org.  




Keene High School is one of several New Hampshire high schools that offers Unified Cheering.  The squad cheers at the high school's Unified Basketball games.  Way to go Keene!



You can help support nearly 3,000 SONH athletes by taking the Dip into Lake Winnipesaukee! This year's Winni Dip Weekend will be held on Saturday, March 14th and The High School Dip is set for Sunday, March 15th at the Margate Resort in Laconia. The Winni Dip is a fundraising event that supports the urgent mission of Special Olympics New Hampshire. Our sports programs open a gateway for our athletes to become empowered and accepted. There are thousands more athletes we hope to reach and thousands more lives we are working to change for the better. With your help, we can!


Last year's Winni Dip Weekend was a tremendous success and raised over $80,000 for SONH. Nearly 170 participants jumped into the freezing cold water of Lake Winnipesaukee to show their complete commitment to the cause. We hope that you will join in the fun this year - complete with shivering and smiles!


You only need to raise $250 to experience the Dip and $175 for the High School Dip!  For the required minimum, Dippers receive the Basic Dip Package which includes two wristbands to the post Dip lunch and celebration and a Winni Dip apparel item. Dippers who raise more than the minimum amount will receive a gift card of their choice from Applebee's, Circle K, Five Guys or Dick's Sporting Goods!


If jumping into cold water is not for you, you can still partake in the Dip! Register as a SUNBATHING BEAR and receive the same benefits as a Dipper, without getting wet!


To join the fun and register for the Dip, visit sonh.org!


Thank you to our dip sponsors, WOKQ, Marshall's Tent and Event Rental, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England and Meredith Village Savings Bank.







On February 10th, law enforcement officials from around the state attended the President's Luncheon to learn about the partnership between law enforcement and SONH. Hosted by Chief Richard A. Crate Jr., President NHACOP, Inc., the luncheon served to educate the attendees about Law Enforcement for Special Olympics.  In 1985, Chief Stan Stevens (ret) of Wolfeboro Police Department brought an idea back to New Hampshire from the Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the idea was to raise public awareness and funds for Special Olympics New Hampshire through an event called the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR).  What started as a series of runs to kick off the State Summer Games has now grown into a year-round commitment to SONH athletes from Law Enforcement agencies across New Hampshire to the athletes served by SONH. In 2014, over $400,000 was raised through LETR events comprising of 115 agencies and 510 participants coming together to support our cause.  Since the partnership began between law enforcement and SONH in 1985, $3,861,330 has been raised to support SONH athletes.



We are looking for volunteers to help out at our State Winter Games on March 1st-3rd at Waterville Valley!  We will have over 300 athletes competing in Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snowshoeing.  Volunteer opportunities include staging, awards, setup, breakdown, runners, timers, equipment, data entry, food, and check-in.  Please contact Nicole Ferrante at nicoleferrante@derrynh.org to volunteer in the Valley or Gerry Clarke at gerrynsp@earthlink.net if you'd like to volunteer at the Mountain. 




"A basketball game that looks the same as any other high school varsity match-up, but what you'll find inside the gym goes much deeper than any scoreboard."

Click here to watch the January 29th episode of NH Chronicle featuring Unified Sports!  



March 1 - 3
State Winter Games
Waterville Valley
March 7
Change Day
March 14
Unified Basketball Assessment
March 14
Winni Dip
March 15
Traditional Basketball Assessment
March 15
High School Dip
March 21
Coaches Training
April 10 - 11
Derry & Londonderry



Special Olympics New Hampshire is grateful for the annual support of our Mission Partners who help bring our programs to life.