July 9, 2015 

Like us on Facebook       Follow us on Twitter       View our videos on YouTube     Donate Button            


The 46th Annual SONH State Summer Games are gone...but not forgotten!  801 athletes from 58 Local Programs competed in Aquatics, Athletics, Bocce, Equestrian and Powerlifting at UNH from June 5 to June 7.  Please read on to find out more about the Games.



Amir Barakat stole the show at the 2015 Special Olympics State Summer Games with his performance of the National Anthem during Opening Ceremonies.  Amir is a singer but also a Special Olympics New Hampshire athlete and a member of the Manchester Local Program.


Amir started with Special Olympics when he was a teenager during his time at Milford High School where he was introduced to Special Olympics as a member of the NHIAA Unified basketball team.  Amir loved his experience and could not wait to get more involved, he then joined the Manchester Local Program and has expanded his sport involvement to golf and athletics, most recently competing in the mini-jav, shotput, 4 x 100 meter relay and the 100 meter run at the 2015 Summer Games.  His passion for basketball still runs deep and Amir wears his gold medal from this year's State Basketball Tournament in Londonderry proudly. 


On the horizon is Amir's favorite sport, golf.  Legends Golf in Hooksett is his preferred practice location as he can use all of his clubs at the driving range and practice putting on the mini golf course!  Amir would like to try bocce in the future, Manchester does not offer bocce currently so Amir is busy recruiting interested athletes from the Manchester local program to participate so they can take home the gold at the 2016 Summer Games! 


When Amir is taking a break from Special Olympics, you can find him working at Goodwill in Manchester.  Amir uses the skills Special Olympics has taught him to be successful in his retail job by always being respectful towards others and working hard. 


Amir enjoys hanging out with friends and family, playing King of Tokyo, meeting new people and the feeling of accomplishment he has through his involvement as a SONH Global Messenger.  His favorite part about being a global messenger is his ability to share his story of success with SONH in hopes to encourage new athletes to get involved with Special Olympics. 


Amir is grateful for what Special Olympics has taught him.  Through his involvement, he has learned the importance of being part of a team and that practice and hard work go hand and hand with success.  Amir is proud to say he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.  Go get em' Amir, we are all routing for you!
2015 Ray Kroc Spirit Award was presented to ConVal!


McDonald's, through the Napoli Group, has been a long time supporter of SONH.  Every year, since 1979, they have provided our athletes and volunteers with thousands of meals and snacks.  McDonald's also sponsor's the annual presentation of the Ray Kroc Spirit Award at the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Games.  The award is presented annually by Larry Johnston, Senior Area Supervisor for the Napoli Group, to the Local Program that best represents the spirit of the Summer Games.

This year Sal Napoli, owner of the Napoli Group, and his team wanted to do even more!

McDonald's started the year by joining us at the Penguin P lunge - serving more than 4,000 cups of coffee to our icy Plungers.  But coffee wasn't enough - with a goal of providing the best possible product to our athletes, McDonald's wanted to cook and serve lunch onsite. "At first, I thought they were wacky" said Bob McDougall, VP of Operations for the Napoli Group. Because the team had never cooked outside of the restaurant for more than a few folks, cooking and serving lunch to 1,500 in the middle of a field was daunting. But by the end of the Games, he had changed his tune, "It was the best Summer Games that I've seen in many years," said McDougall, "Everything fell into place.  What Sal Napoli, Mary Conroy, Tim Marshall, Jeremy Hilton and Tim Doyle put together was outstanding!"

We agree...thank you McDonald's for all that you do for SONH!



The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program offers health services and information to athletes in dire need. In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.  


At this year's Summer Games, we offered health exams in four areas:  

  • FUNfitness (physical therapy): 70 athletes were screened, 51 of which received a referral for follow-up care.
  • Healthy Hearing (audiology): 131 athletes were screened, 4 of which received vouchers for hearing aids.
  • Opening Eyes (vision): 136 athletes were screened, 117 of which received either glasses, sports goggles or sunglasses.
  • Special Smiles (dentistry): 136 athletes were screened, 60 of which revived mouth-guards.



The Coca-Cola Company is a founding partner and global sponsor of Special Olympics dating back to the organization's inception in 1968. As such, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) has proudly refreshed SONH athletes and volunteers for decades.

In addition to providing drinks for all of our events, CCNNE takes a leadership role at the Summer Games, running three events (softball throw, tennis ball throw and mini-jav) as well as managing recycling throughout the campus.  When asked why the company continues to be involved with Special Olympics, Mike Elmer & Melissa Szymanowski explained that " it is now really a part of our culture. We and other associates who volunteer do so because we really like it .. it is fun .. it feels great to help the athletes and their families have a great experience. For our organization, it has become a wonderful team-building experience that helps connect our employees and their families to our company in an authentic way."

At a national level, the Coca-Cola Company has assembled a star-studded team to  record a unified song for the World Games, titled "Reach Up." The song features rock band O.A.R.,  recording artist Cody Simpson and, accompanied by Breanna Bogucki, a singer and decorated Special  Olympics athlete from Illinois who has Autism, and Madison Tevlin, a young Canadian woman with Down syndrome who became a viral sensation earlier this year.
Fans can support Special Olympics by sharing the "Reach up" music video   on social media using the hashtag #ReachUp.  Coca-Cola  will donate one dollar - up to $100,000 - to Special Olympics for every "Reach Up" video share using the hashtag leading up to the World Games.



Tuesday, July 14
Southern Area Golf Assessment
Tuesday, July 21
World Summer Games
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, July 22
Northern Area Golf Assessment
Tuesday, August 4
State Golf Tournament
Saturday, August 8
State Softball Tournament
Saturday, August 15
Coaches Training
Sunday, August 23
Dream Ride
Farmington, CT
Monday, August 24
Foundation Golf Tournament
North Sutton
Saturday, September 12
To Serve & Protect Day
Saturday, September 26
Rail Trail Rally
Sunday, September 27
Upper Valley Area Fall Games
Claremont & Hanover




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