January 15, 2015

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The Penguin Plunge Weekend is less than three weeks away and you still have time to register and start fundraising! 

Register online following these simple steps then start collecting donations!  You may collect cash or checks written to "SONH" or "Special Olympics New Hampshire."  You can also collect credit card donations by creating a fundraising webpage through our peer to peer fundraising platform FirstGiving.  Click here for some quick fundraising tips.

Saturday, January 31, 2015
If you are a high school student, faculty or staff member we invite you to join us on Saturday, January 31st for the 7th Annual High School Plunge!  Click here for more information and to register.
  • Theme: Disney
  • Fundraising Minimum: $175
  • Incentives: All Plungers will receive a hooded sweatshirt.  You may also earn gift cards or a water bottle for raising funds beyond the fundraising minimum.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Kick off the Superbowl early with a chilly plunge into the Atlantic Ocean!  If you are age 15 or older, join us on Sunday, February 1st for the 16th Annual Penguin Plunge. Click here for more information and to register.
  • Theme: Superheroes 
  • Fundraising Minimum: $350
  • Incentives: All Plungers will receive a hooded sweatshirt or backpack.  You may also earn gift cards or a cooler for raising funds beyond the fundraising minimum.
Thank you to our sponsors.



Dartmouth Skiway will host the 13th Annual Upper Valley Area Winter Games again this year.  The games will take place on Saturday, January 24th with check-in from 8:00-9:00am at the Skiiway Lodge.  We are excited about the upcoming games and look forward to seeing the athletes, coaches and their families.


Whether you are competing, volunteering, or there to cheer the athletes on, you will not be disappointed.  The day begins with a continental breakfast.  Be sure to enjoy some nourishment while you get ready for a fun packed day. The Parade of Athletes then leaves from the lodge traveling to the base of the hill to kick off Opening Ceremonies.  


Downhill skiing and snowboarding competitions of all levels are held at the mountain adjacent to the lodge. After each event, the awards will be given out at the awards stand in the opening ceremonies area. 


Across from the Lodge, at Holts Ledge you can enjoy the snowshoe competition.  This is always fun and exciting to cheer on the athletes as they compete.   You can watch the awards for the competition in the same area. 


If that's not enough, be sure to go to the snowmaking pond and see the cross country ski competition (weather permitting).  There you will enjoy seeing short and long distance cross country ski races.  Awards will be given in this area.


Thank you to the SONH Upper Valley Winter Games Management Team for all of your hard work to put this wonderful day together. 


For more information contact Jim Beattie, Games Director or Sue Asselin Hawthorne (603-817-0361), Field Services Manager.


See you there! 




Have you had dreams of running the Boston Marathon?  Now is your chance!  Beginning in 1897, the Boston Marathon has been the most coveted, longest running marathon in history.  Running the Boston Marathon is something many runners have on their bucket list.  If this sounds like you, then today is your lucky day!

Special Olympics New Hampshire was given a 2015 Charity Bib number and we would like to extend this exciting opportunity on to you!  Lace up your running shoes for SONH and help us in raising funds for nearly 3,000 athletes currently participating in Special Olympic New Hampshire's sports programming and competitions.  For more information or to apply, please contact Chelsea Gill.



Paul Goyette and Michelle Wheeler of Northeast Planning Associates have been long time supporters of Special Olympics New Hampshire.


Both have volunteered at Summer Games and attended exciting Unified games with their families. Goyette has served on the board of directors and took the Penguin Plunge on many occasions.  Now Northeast Planning Associates has taken their support to another level by signing on as a 2015 Mission Partner! 

Northeast Planning Associates is a financial planning firm that has been in New England for more than 55 years.  Goyette and Wheeler have been with the firm since 1996 and currently have offices in Nashua and Bedford. 

They specialize in financial planning for families who have children with special needs.  Goyette said he has worked with clients of a certain age of retirement, who he met and worked with for several years, and although they demonstrated the ability to retire comfortably, he was not able to get them to act.  It came to him that parents could not conceive of their own retirement until they were certain their son or daughter was going to be taken care of.


"It resonated with me that it was such a need," Goyette said.  "As we reached out in the community we found it was a tremendous need."


Goyette and Wheeler will share some of what they have learned through years of working with families through quarterly articles in The Torch in 2015.


 "We've been supporters for a good many seasons and it's just a good partnering relationship combining families with financial planning matters and giving a voice to the questions I guess so many people have," Goyette said.  "Our whole purpose around this kind of planning is to help give families confidence in knowing that they have a plan in place for their child's future," Wheeler said.


We look forward to partnering with Northeast Planning Associates in 2015!




The  Alvirne  High School Unified Theater Program performed its first Holiday Extravaganza on December 19 and 20 at Alvirne High School. From the first meeting of cast and crew, all of the students participated in creating a fabulous holiday musical. 


The show blended the talents of the students in song, dance and acting.  It was performed to two sold out audiences!  English teachers Lauren Dennis, Jen LaFrance and Maryanne Hedges directed the show.  This new Unified venture, along with other Project UNIFY initiatives, has helped to create a culture at Alvirne that values all students.






Belmont High school hosted a Unified Basketball Preseason Jamboree on January 10 to kickoff the NHIAA Unified Basketball season. Belmont, Winnisquam, Inter-Lakes, Laconia, and Gilford attended. Each team played against one another and displayed the skills that they have learned in practice over the past few weeks. 

The Jamboree was a great success with a large contingency of fans filling the Belmont gym. Athletes and Unified partners enjoyed a full day of fun and competition. 


Congratulations to Cassie Contigiani, a Belmont High School senior, who planned and organized the event as part of her senior project.




Special Olympics New Hampshire invites Chiefs, Troop Commanders and Sheriffs to join us for the 2015 President's Luncheon presented by Chief Richard A. Crate Jr., President, New Hampshire Chiefs of Police Association and Mary Conroy, President, Special Olympics New Hampshire.  


This annual event serves to kick-off the Law Enforcement Torch Run season and highlights various opportunities for law enforcement to get involved in support of the athletes SONH serves.  The luncheon will be held at the Puritan Backroom Conference Center in Manchester on Tuesday, February 10th beginning at 12 pm following the NHACOP meeting. 


Reservations are requested; please RSVP by Tuesday, January 27th to Courtney Brooks (603-624-1250 x33)



We are looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of the Penguin Plunge! 

If you'd like to help with the event, please contact Diane Hollingworth.  We need help with everything from set-up to handing out towels on the beach, Plunger check-in and break down beginning on Friday, January 30th through Sunday, February 1st.

We are also looking for volunteers to help us with check-in sites around the state.  Please contact Cathleen O'Sullivan (603-624-1250) for more information or to sign up.
  • Tuesday, January 27th in Nashua and Manchester
  • Wednesday, January 28th in Keene and Concord
  • Thursday, January 29th in Dover
If you can type and prefer staying warm to freezing on the beach, we need your help with data entry!  Contact Bridget Carleton (603-969-9572). We are looking for volunteers from Wednesday, January 28th to Tuesday, February 3rd. Day and evening shifts are available.



Please join us in welcoming Courtney Brooks to the SONH team!  As the Special Events Manager at SONH, Courtney will work as a member of the development department on fundraising events including the Penguin Plunge and Law Enforcement Torch Run.  

Courtney joins us from the NHSPCA where she was the Community Outreach & Events Coordinator.



January 24
January 26 - 31
Special Olympics Awareness Week
High Schools Statewide
January 31
High School Plunge
Hampton Beach
February 1
Penguin Plunge
Hampton Beach
February 7
Seacoast Area Winter Games
February 8
Central Area Winter Games
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



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