A note to families from Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder of Special Olympics:
“Every Family is called upon to make sacrifices in the name of love, but families of Special Olympics athletes have done much, much more. Each day, they demand civil rights for their children that others take for granted: in education, employment and health. Families, we salute and commend you.”
To provide year-round activities for all families of Special Olympics athletes. These activities give families the opportunities to share experiences and knowledge, and to form friendships with other families. The goal is to create, promote and support Special Olympics families by establishing a state-wide family network.
What is Family Action Network?
The Family Action Network(FAN) creates, promotes and supports Special Olympics Georgia families by establishing a statewide family network. FAN also provides year-round activities for families of Special Olympics athletes. These activities give families the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge, and to form friendships with other Special Olympics families. Activities and socials are held during the 4 largest State Games. FAN encourages families to become involved through serving on local management teams, nominating families for recognition, and attending State Games.
F.A.N. supports you by:
1. Offering a block of rooms for Families at State Games at reduced rate.
2. Providing family ribbons at all SOGA State Games.
3. Providing recognition of a deserving family nominated by their peers once a year.
4. Providing networking opportunities and maintaining email list for monthly e-newsletter.
5. Offering 4 goodies bags to families or refreshments and resource materials at State Games.
Become a SOGA Family
Phone: 770-414-9390 ext. 104
Meet the Kile Family – recipiant of our Outstanding Family Award for 2012
THE KILE FAMILY HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. TERRY, THE DAD, WAS AND IS STILL A VOLUNTEER WITH THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. WHEN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM CUT BUDGETS TO THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS PROGRAM AND WERE UNABLE TO ATTEND ANY STATE GAMES, TERRI GOT CERTIFIED IN THE SPORTS HIS DAUGHTER WANTED TO COMPETE IN AND TOOK HER HIMSELF. HE ALSO BRINGS ALONG AT LEAST TWO OTHER ATHLETES WITH HIM TO COMPETE AS WELL. TERRY, WHO’S A CIVIL SERVANT, HAS DONE TOURS IN IRAQ AND LAST YEAR PRESENTED SPECIAL OLYMPICS GEORGIA WITH AN AMERICAN FLAG THAT FLEW AT THE EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD ON SEPTEMBER 11TH 2011. HIS DAUGHTER, ELIZABETH, IS A SCREVEN COUNTY ATHLETE. SHE COMPETES IN SOFTBALL AND BASKETBALL SKILLS. JENNIFER, THE MOTHER, IS A LOYAL FAN AND IS ALWAYS WILLING TO LEND A HELPING HAND. AS A FAMILY THEY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT IS EXPECTED AND DO IT ALL FOR ATHLETES! THEY ARE A WONDERFUL ASSET TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS GEORGIA.
Meet the Connelly Family from Walton County.
Steve, Ulene, Stephanie (athlete) and younger sister Lauren are being recognized for their support of Special Olympics for many years. Stephanie has competed for 20 years, traveling to World Games in 1999 where she ran the half marathon. She also competes in roller skating, bowling and softball. Dad, Steve has served as a coach and on the Local Management Team for many years as well as helping with fundraising. Currently he coaches the Masters Softball Team. Lauren has also serves as a coach/chaperone and attended State Games at least 9 times in the last 5 years. Stephanie volunteers for SOGA as a Global Messenger (doing public speaking) and with F.I.S.H. – Faith in Serving Humanity – a ministry supported by multiple churches that provides a thrift store, food for food bank, etc. and she serves as a Blue Angel at Walton Medical Center. Thanks guys for all you do to support the community and Special Olympics.
Meet the Crain Family.
Family Action Network recognizes the Crain Family as the Outstanding Family of the Year:
Scott Crain is the local Coordinator for Hall County and serves as the Family Chairperson for the Area 2 Management Team. He is a Parent Mentor with the school system and his wife is a teacher. Their son Will is an athlete and their daughter Claire is a Unified Partner who has competed at State Games since 2007. This year she got her friends from college to volunteer at State Fall Games. Scott signed up Hall Co. to host a mini-clinic for coaches in 2011, he organized a Bocce Competition for the 1st time that had 18 teams attend. He created partners clubs in 7 schools in Hall County. He secures the facilities for meetings and competitions. Will serves as the Athlete Chairperson on the Local management Team and the Area 2 Management Team.
Here’s another family in our network:
Debbie writing about her son Bradley:
When my son Bradley was born and I was told he had Down syndrome, I did not know what the future held but one thing I knew for sure I wanted Special Olympics to be a part of his life. He had some medical issues to overcome and by the age of five I started looking at programs to get him involved in so he could participate in Special Olympics.
We started with learning to swim. I took him to his first swim lesson with his coach Boni when he had just turned 5 years old. Two years later and many lessons later he competed in his first State Special Olympics Games at Emory. The first year he swam he competed in the assisted 10 meter and 15 meter competition. He won gold medals for both races. This was the beginning of his swimming career and 9 more years of State games.
Little did we know that first year where swimming for Special Olympics would take us but it has taken us all the way to the National Games. In July 2006, Bradley competed in the first National Special Olympics Games held in Ames, Iowa. It was a life changing experience not only for Bradley but for me as well. To be there with athletes and their families from all over the United States for a week was a dream come true. Bradley competed in the 50 meter freestyle, 50 meter breast stroke and 4 x 25 relay. He won a bronze medal for the 50M free, a gold medal for the relay and a participation ribbon for the breast stroke.
There was a feeling that week that was shared by the athletes and families alike. It was a feeling of constant happiness and joy. Everyone wanted to share their excitement about being there and about participating.
As a parent I came back with a renewed desire to make sure that Special Olympics will always be a large part of Bradley’s life. I saw in my son that week what Special Olympics can do for him. He walked around with his head held high. He was proud of who he is and proud of what he can do through Special Olympics.