January 29, 2015

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Tune into WMUR's New Hampshire Chronicle tonight at 7:00 pm!


"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 for more information.  




For as long as Jeremy Colter can remember, people have told him he could not do things.  But something in his heart has always pushed him to prove those people wrong. 


Colter joined Special Olympics as an athlete when he was just a boy and has participated in bowling and athletics, but his first love is basketball.  He said the sport has taught him how to work with a team, to make

Click the image to see a video of Jeremy Colter at the 2010 Special Olympics USA Games

friends and to build a solid foundation.


Now a grown man with a full-time job, Colter said he does not have as much time to compete, but it was important to him to stay involved with the organization.  "It made me the person that I am now," Colter said about his involvement.  "It opens your eyes to what means more and to see each person out there smiling and talking and trying their best is like nothing that I've ever seen."


Three times over the last decade Colter has had the chance to experience these moments as a basketball official during national and international competition.  In 2007, Colter served as an official during the World Games in Shangai, China, in 2010 he served as an official during the USA Games in Lincoln, Nebraska and in 2011 he served as an official during the World Games in Athens, Greece.


In August, Colter will once again have the distinction of serving as a basketball official during the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.  He and Don Marcotte will serve as officials at the Games.


On and off the court, Colter said his goal is to show students that no matter what they do in life, they can overcome anything to achieve their dreams.  "I am proof that if you work for anything and don't ever stop you will get to where you want and dreams will actually take their course," Colter said.  "I never in my life dreamed that I would have been chosen to do all of these special games and it's just a great thing to know that all my hard work I have been putting into this whole lifetime is starting to show.  I don't take anything for granted.  I just take it as a blessing and just enjoy every moment that I can."


Colter said there are no words to describe the experience of a USA or World Games, when hundreds of Special Olympics athletes come together to compete on one stage.  "It's going to be huge.  It's going to be amazing and to be a part of it live, there are no words," Colter said. 


The 2015 Special Olympics World Games are being stage in Los Angeles, California July 25 - August 2.  With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world this year.  For more information on the Games, visit www.la2015.org. 


We kicked off winter competition on Saturday, January 27th with the Upper Valley Area Winter Games.  97 athletes representing 11 Local Programs from New Hampshire and Vermont competed in alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy will host the Seacoast Area Winter Games on Saturday, February 7th.  We are expecting about 175 athletes and partners to participate in snowshoeing and cross country skiing.  We are very thankful for the students and staff at Coe-Brown for their help in planning this event and are looking forward to seeing everyone in a couple of weeks!  

For more information about this event, please contact Miranda Morse, mirandm@sonh.org.  

Special Olympics Athletes  will compete in alpine skiing and snowboarding on February 8th at the Central Area Winter Games at Pat's Peak. Athletes, coaches and volunteers will check in at 8:00 am and get ready for opening ceremonies at 9:00 before the games begin. We will offer competition in novice, beginner, intermediate and advanced categories. Athletes and volunteers will enjoy lunch while they warm up and refuel for an afternoon of skiing and snowboarding fun.

We are still looking for volunteers for this event.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Sue Asselin Hawthorne at (603) 817-0361 or suea@sonh.org 



It is not too late to register for the High School Plunge or Penguin Plunge!  We are extending registration until Friday, January 30th, so click on one of the links below and start fundraising today!


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.




The NHIAA Student Leadership committee is conducting a Special Olympics Awareness Week that is taking place in High Schools throughout New Hampshire this week, leading up to the High School Penguin Plunge on Saturday, January 31st!  The idea for Special Olympics Awareness Week came from New Hampshire students that attended the New England Student Leadership Conference held last summer.  The week is designed to help raise awareness for Special Olympics, NHIAA's Life of an Athlete and Project UNIFY.

Click here to view a flyer for the week.



Here is your chance to participate in a unique fundraiser for Special Olympics New Hampshire! Starting on February 9th, law enforcement officials will have the opportunity to patrol their towns while sporting facial hair. Officers will be collecting donations for Special Olympics New Hampshire in order to take part in this rare opportunity to forgo their razor! Members of Law Enforcement from Merrimack, Pittsfield and Hudson participated last year, and we hope that more agencies will join the fun in 2015!

The "Grow a Beard" fundraiser will precede the Special Olympics Winni Dip, and hopefully the beards will help the officers keep extra warm while jumping into the cold waters of Lake Winnipesaukee on March 14, 2015. Officers that choose to don facial hair in addition to taking the DIP will need to raise an additional $100 on top of the $250 Winni Dip fundraising minimum.  Cold water not for you?  Join in on the fun and grow a beard while raising money for a great cause.  Facial hair can include beards, goatees and mustaches. To learn more about the Winni Dip and to register, please click here. 




Have you seen our new Concussion Awareness & Safety Recognition Policy?  If not, please take a few minutes to read the complete policy beginning on page 74 of the LPCM (http://www.sonh.org/uploads/LPCM/2015LCM.pdf).  A brief summary of the policy follows.

It is Special Olympics' intent to take steps to help ensure the health and safety of all Special Olympics participants. All Special Olympics participants should remember that safety comes first and should take reasonable steps to help minimize the risks for concussion or other serious brain injuries.

Effective January 1, 2015, a participant who is suspected of sustaining a concussion in a practice, game or competition shall be removed from practice, play or competition at that time. If a qualified medical professional is available on-site to render an evaluation, that person shall have final authority as to whether or not a concussion is suspected. If applicable, the participant's parent or guardian should be made aware that the participant is suspected of sustaining a concussion.

A participant who has been removed from practice, play or competition due to a suspected concussion may not participate in Special Olympics sports activities until the return to play guidelines have been met.

All Coaches are required to complete concussion awareness training once every three years. Current coaches must complete concussion training along with their next renewal.



By Paul M. Goyette, CFP�


When you first learned that your child had special needs, you probably began analyzing your home life, your child's education and other immediate concerns. In time, you realized that your child's needs would continue to evolve. How would you pay for medical expenses that insurance didn't cover? What types of programs would your child qualify for as an adult? Where would your child live if something happened to you?


There are so many things to take into consideration that you may feel overwhelmed. You need a solid financial plan to help you make sense of a complex situation. Here are some reasons why working with a financial planner trained in special needs situations is not only a good idea but is also necessary.


Brings objectivity to a very emotional topic: 

A financial planner can look at a situation from a "big picture" standpoint. Traditional planners will look at the hard data, but a special needs planner will, more importantly, understand the story beyond the numbers and how all those pieces fit together to make a whole. The first step of every plan is to create a vision of what you want for your child and talk about what keeps you awake at night. Knowing those two things can make the difference between a plan consisting of only numbers and graphs and a plan that creates a map to your child's future.


Identifies options and provides guidance: 

A great planner will present you with more than one option and provide sound direction. She breaks down the pieces and explains them in easy-to-understand terms. She has a knowledgeable staff to help with special needs situations and an efficient system already in place. When you walk into her office, she knows both your time and your money are precious and always remembers the sensitivity of the topics at hand.


Focuses on legal options: 

It is essential to have the appropriate legal documents written by a legal source. You may need a special needs trust or even a payback trust. As a parent of a child with disabilities, you also need to make sure your estate plan is solid. If you aren't prepared, then your child's care may suffer as a consequence. Special needs planners do not give legal advice, but they excel at providing a practical view of how an appropriately written trust will factor into your plan. A poorly written trust can jeopardize your child's eligibility for benefits.


Maximizes benefits and programs: 

A special needs planner has a benefits department, which specializes in the myriad government and local benefits programs your child may be qualified to receive. This specialized area plays an essential role in your planning. Your planner can appoint a specialist to your family to work with you through the application process, which allows you to focus your attention and time on other things.


Understands that transition is the key: 

Once your child reaches adulthood, benefits can, and will, change. A planner will be able to guide you through this process utilizing not only financial options, but program options to make the transition as easy as possible for both you and your child.


Remains accessible: 

A special needs planner is accessible for the many developmental and situational changes your child will go through. Some planners work on an hourly basis, while others require a yearly retainer. Each option has its place depending on the complexity and nature of the situation as well as your preferences. A planner should be available to answer questions throughout the duration of your engagement.


Gets involved with the community: 

A planner who is involved with special needs organizations is informed about the issues that his clients face. Another benefit of being an advocate or activist in the special needs community is her knowledge of non-financial programs, support groups, recreational opportunities and many other resources your family might be interested in.Financial planning is an essential part of providing the future care of your child. Every parent wants to know that their children will be safe and happy when they are not able to be there, lead a life as independently as they are able to and to have lives of their own. A financial planner who focuses on special needs can provide objectivity, guidance, knowledge and, most importantly, empathy to your family. Working together to create a solid financial plan, you and your planner can help create confidence that you have a plan in place for your child's future.

Financial planning offered through Northeast Planning Associates, Inc. (NPA), a registered investment adviser. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment adviser and member FINRA/SIPC. NPA and LPL Financial are not affiliated.





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.