2017 Special Olympics Georgia Accomplishments



  • Georgia Welcomed 14 New Honorary Board Members and hosted 3 successful luncheons



State Winter Games

  • Made revenue goal of $81,000

Shoot for Champions

  • Secured new location
  • Added a title sponsor
  • Added two new committee members
  • Surpassed Revenue goal of $33,000 by $3,000

State Fall Games

  • Surpassed revenue goal of $41,000 by $4,500
  • Added 4 new sponsors

Dragon Con

  • Raised a total of $109,000
  • Had 30 athletes participate in Dragon Con Parade
  • 2 Athlete speeches made at events

LETR Overall funds raised for all events

  • LETR raised over $1,101,939 in 2017 through events, donations and sponsorships

Publix Campaign

  • The Publix Torch Campaign raised over $907,000 in 2017 (total included above)


  • LETR Georgia had the 3rd largest net revenue increase in 2017

Polar Plunge

  • The LETR Polar Plunge raised over $143,000 and had over 280 plungers participating
  • New location was used for the Plunge at Acworth Beach

Cops on Donut Shops

  • LETR raised $78,377 during our Dunkin’ Donuts Cops on Donut Shops event surpassing our goal of $50,000

Red Robin Tip a Cop

  • LETR raised $6,555.66 in the Red Robin Restaurant Tip a Cop Campaign

Over The Edge

  • Had 86 edgers rappel in this year’s event
  • Raised $110,000 and had a lot of general community awareness

Busse Memorial Golf Classic

  • Hosted 92 golfers at Ansley Golf Club at Settindown in Roswell GA
  • Raised $85,580.00 surpassing a goal of $85,000 and upgraded one Sponsor
  • Selected a new golf course for this event

Summer Games:

  • Exceeded the sponsor revenue goal by $19,590.
  • Signed seven new sponsors.
  • Collaborated with Professional Sports Publications on an enhanced program book.

Duck Pluck:

  • 9,560 ducks adopted; exceeded the duck sales revenue goal by $1,149
  • Hosted sales tables at new companies

Outside Events:

  • Exceeded the revenue goal by approximately $77,100.
  • Marlow’s Tavern Golf Classic netted $129,899, which exceeded the revenue goal by $49,899. This was another record setting year.
  • Dunwoody Country Club Charity Event raised almost $92,000.


Community Relations/Stewardship:

  • Developed new relationships with the GA High School Football Association and the GA Independent Schools Association. These relationships included the Associations sharing with their member’s information about SOGA and opportunities to get involved.
  • Created engaging stewardship reports for corporate and prize sponsors for Summer Games, Duck Pluck, Horse Show, Indoor Winter Games, Masters Bowling and Fall Games.
  • Created stewardship reports for Atlanta Falcons and Jake Matthews, as well as Freddie Freeman, Kurt Suzuki and Atlanta Braves after every home game in which SOGA received tickets.
  • Created two touch point e-mails for sponsors/SOGA constituents: the mid-year contained highlights of the first six months and an announcement about the Training for Life: Sports Lab and Center, and the year-end were a video of pictures from 2017.

Pro/College Sports:

  • Created and implemented Practice Like a Pro opportunity in which athletes get to spend a day/time practicing and/or playing the associated sport with their favorite athlete/team.
  • Re-established relationship with Atlanta Gladiators. Gladiators held SOGA’s first ever Practice Like a Pro Day in which an athlete participated in pre-game warm ups with the Gladiators and also participated in announcing the game.
  • An athlete participated in the Mohamed Sanu football camp.
  • Hall County athletes attended SOGA Day at Falcons Training Camp. SOGA athletes got to sit VIP during the camp, meet, greet, take pictures and get autographs from the players.
  • Agencies attended Falcons games and Braves games free of charge due to ticket donations from Jake Matthews (Falcons), Freddie Freeman (Braves) and Kurt Suzuki (Braves).
  • Shaquille O’Neal (former NBA) attended Polar Plunge.
  • Cobb County athletes and Unified Partners joined Atlanta United in their inaugural Unified Team. Athletes trained at Atlanta United training facilities once a week and competed in two exhibition games against Orlando City’s Unified Team prior to the Atlanta United vs. Orlando City games. Athletes attended these games for free. Unified Team partner and ambassador from Atlanta United was Greg Garza.
  • Recognized pre-game at an Atlanta Braves game as a 2017 Atlanta Braves grant recipient and Atlanta Braves partner.
  • SOGA athletes were included in events at Agnes Scott College, Georgia State University, Emory University, and University of Georgia.
  • SOGA had a booth at SEC Fanfare.



  • Various SOGA athletes, team members, coaches, sponsors, and family members were interviewed for Winter Games, Summer Games, Fall Games, and Horse Show by 92.9 The Game and WDUN.
  • All State Games and Special Events received television, print, and/or online coverage/feature stories.
  • UGA/SOGA partnership was highlighted on SEC Network prior to the UGA vs. South Carolina Game.
  • 5 athletes were featured in various Perimeter Lifestyle Magazines throughout the year.
  • Established a relationship with Hemsworth Communications, a PR and Marketing firm in Atlanta.
  • Developed new relationships with the Southeast Photography Society, the Decatur Photography Club and the North Georgia Photography Club.
  • Chosen as the featured organization for a video project for a Kennesaw High School student. Filming and interviews took place at Fall Games and Horse Show, and will again at Winter Games. She is also promoting getting involved and raising awareness about SOGA to Kennesaw High School students and individuals in the Kennesaw area.
  • Received a Google Ads Grant which will assist SOGA with being featured at the top of Google searches.


  • Developed and implemented a multi-channel year-end giving campaign that included online ads, print ads, radio spots and digital presence, SOGA e-blasts, SOGA social media and website posts, and direct mailings.
  • Conducted two successful direct mail campaigns to previous telefunding business donors.
  • 100% of staff made a personal gift to SOGA through the annual staff giving campaign.


  • Set up all accounting procedures for Special Olympics Georgia Support Organization including new financial database.
  • Have reconciled and recorded all transactions associated with the Special Olympics Georgia Support Organization.
  • Minimized number of area accounts with late reports.
  • Streamlined process for acknowledging all donors and developed more in depth queries through RE.
  • Received over $125,000 from grants written
  • Ensured all documents, procedures, and standards were met in order to secure NMTC funding for new headquarters.
  • Successfully managed all business-related accounts at 4046 Financial Drive.
  • 2018 Budget Process implemented by early September and completed by early October.
  • Create and maintained accurate spreadsheet of all reoccurring monthly, quarterly and yearly bills as to not be late on any payments.
  • Made necessary changes to employee handbook for 2018.
  • Set up all accounts for new headquarters for smooth transition from old building.
  • Repaired what was needed in leased office. SOGA is receiving a full refund from lease on old building as a result.
  • Submitted all draw requests for contractor and subcontractors and made monthly payments for construction hard costs and soft costs by the end of each month March-November on time and in full.

New Building:

  • Completed the SOGA Capital Campaign exceeding the Revenue Budget.
  • Constructed the new SOGA Headquarters and moved the Team in to 6046 Financial Drive, Norcross, GA.
  • Hosted the Special Olympics International Board (representing 19 countries) to a tour of the New Building.
  • 100% of the SOGA Team made a gift to the Capital Campaign
  • 100% of the SOGA Board made a gift to the Capital Campaign

Program Services:

Coach Education:

  • Hosted 12 Multi-sport coaches clinics with 3 additional scheduled
  • Hosted 1 Equestrian coaches clinic
  • Hosted Basketball, Softball, Kayaking, Bocce, and Unified Sports coaches clinics at the Youth Forum
  • 55 Coaches Trainings have been offered with 14 additional scheduled
  • 561 Coaches have attended Coaches Trainings
  • 30 Athletes have attended Coaches Trainings
  • Certified Coaches: 6934 Coaches are certified.  (724 in 2017)
  • 159 Coaches completed online re-certification via Classmarker
  • 9 Program Services Team Members have become certified in various sports and have conducted coaches clinics
  • Hosted the largest Coaches Clinic Houston County has ever had, with 34 coaches in attendance

USA Games:

  • Team Georgia will consist of: 1 Traditional Basketball Team, 1 Unified Golf Team, 1 Unified Soccer Team, 1 Unified Volleyball Team
  • All athletes and coaches have been registered in GMS
  • All athletes and coaches have been registered in the 1st Wave of SO Connect

State Horse Show:

  • 538 Total in attendance: 235 Athletes / 41 Coaches / 52 Partners / 115 Horse Handlers / 95 Extras
  • Healthy Athletes / Olympic Town was well attended and first time hosting a Healthy Athletes event
  • New Equestrian Agencies: Herds of Hooves in Franklin County

2017 State Indoor Winter Games:

  • 2, 948 official delegates attended Winter Games 2017, making it the largest attended State Games in the history of SOGA.

2017 State Fall Games:

  • 2,047 official delegates attended Fall Games 2017, increasing participation 3.2% from 2016.

2017 Masters Bowling:

  • Exceeded Masters Bowling revenue goal by $1,500, which was a 3% increase from 2016.
  • Increased number of sponsors from 21 in 2016, to 36 sponsors in 2017 for Masters Bowling ( 70% increase)


  • Hosted the 6th annual State Kayaking Invitational at Lake Tobesofkee in Macon with 50 Paddlers.

New Agencies:

  • Area 7 – Special People
  • Area 4 – Pathways Career Services
  • Area 4 – Polk State (Masters)
  • Area 9 – East Central Regional Hospital
  • Area 14 – Worth County
  • Area 11 – Stewart County
  • Area  14 – Sunrise Community
  • Area 10 – Calhoun County
  • Area 10 – Dooly County
  • Area 17 – Gateway
  • Area 13 – Tattnal Service Center
  • Area 15 – LARC
  • Area 15 – Moody Air Force Base Flying Tigers
  • Area 15 – Tift County Masters
  • Area 15 – Scintilla Charter Academy
  • Area 15 – Echols County Schools


  • Area 3 – Champion Kids

New Local Coordinators:

  • Special People – Tongala B.
  • Bibb County Schools – Julie A.
  • Monroe County – Amber R.
  • Macon Bibb Parks and Recreation – Brian F.
  • Calhoun County – Melissa R.
  • Worth County – Kirq O.
  • Stewart County – A’Kimberly J.
  • Dooly county – Dawn Jackson
  • Sunrise Community – Christine P.
  • Gateway – Susan G.
  • Moody AFB – Windy S.
  • LARC – Kay P.
  • Tift county Masters – Contessa C.
  • Scintilla Charter Academy – Sarah R.
  • Echols County – Kristi G.

Some of the Grants Received:

  • CT Solutions – $1,000.00
  • Thornton Jordan Family Foundation – $500.00
  • Morningstar Foundation – $500.00
  • Alcon Foundation – $3,000.00
  • Sheth Family Foundation – $100.00
  • Clipped Wings (Atlanta Chapter) – $350.00
  • Troup County Saddle Club – $1,000.00
  • UPS – $90,000.00
  • Rise – $1,000.00
  • Valdosta Junior Service League – $1,000.00
  • Kulynch Family Foundation – $2,000.00
  • The Vaughn Foundation – $3,000.00
  • Ludwig Family Foundation – $1,000.00
  • Claude P. Cook Charitable Trust – $1,000.00
  • Turner County Kiwanis – $100.00
  • William B. Orkin – $5,000.00


  • 2017 Dunwoody Country Club Tennis event – over 150 athletes in attendance
  • 1st Annual Tommy Kane “Let Your Light Shine” basketball clinic
  • 2nd Annual Redfield Swim event.

SO College Clubs:


  • Created an application form, a PowerPoint presentation, and a brochure for SO College Clubs
  • Recruited 5 colleges to join SO College Clubs
  • Presented SO College Clubs at the Youth Forum
  • SO College – hosted first SO College South event on November 14th at Armstrong State University
  • College Participation:
    • University of North Georgia recruited volunteers for State Fall Games
    • Emory will host a Unified Basketball Game at halftime on 11/29
    • Agnes Scott College will host a sports clinic and unified competition on 11/30

Volunteer Management:

  • New Screenings in 2017 – 1,097
  • Indoor Winter Games – 1,201 Volunteers
  • Summer Games – 2,081 Volunteers
  • Southeast Powelifting – 33 Volunteers
  • Fall Games – 745 Volunteers
  • Horse Show – 110 Volunteers
  • Re-vamped all Volunteer State Games Orientations, will use GoTo Meeting in 2018 as well for better quality volunteer training
  • Masters Bowling Volunteers – increased by almost 100 overall – 1.2% – 547 Volunteers

Volunteer Recruitment:

  • Resource Fair at Georgia State University
  • Volunteer Fair at Agnes Scott College
  • Volunteer Fair at University of North Georgia
  • Reached out to former volunteers, local churches, schools, and organizations for all State events

Global Messengers:

  • 144 Speeches – Goal met

Transition Fairs:

  • Henry County – Georgia Power Transition Fair

Unify Georgia:

  • Activated 5 brand new agencies: 14 agencies completed the Unify Georgia program for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. 24 agencies are participating in the Unify Georgia program for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.


Toast to Title town:

  • First time hosting, had the best venue, catering and silent auction items as
    well and secured a new Touchdown sponsor.

Annual Youth Forum held at Emory University:

  • Athletes – 8
  • Youth – 25
  • Adults – 4
  • SOGA Team – 6
  • Total = 43

Healthy Athletes:

  • Winter Games goal in 2017 was 240 athlete screens and 120 were screened.
  • Summer Games goal of 510 and reached a total of 535 screens. 14.32% from 2016.
  • Masters Bowling goal 250, reached 292 screens. 50.52% from 2016.
  • Fall Games goal of 120, reached 140. 7.69% from 2016.

Training for Life Award given at the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Conference:

  • Henry County Parks and Recreation