Special Olympics Vermont

Running with Johnny Moretti

Running with Johnny Moretti

The San Francisco Marathon is a long tradition of the city, dating back to 1977. Events include an ultra-marathon (two consecutive marathons), a marathon, and two half-marathons. This year, Johnny Moretti, one of Vermont’s finest, is going to be running in one of the half-marathons. Johnny is no stranger to half-marathons, having split the VermontRead More

Interviews with the World Games Athletes

July 25th marks the opening of the 14th Special Olympics Summer World Games, in sunny Los Angeles. The last time the Summer World Games were on American soil was the 1990 games in Raleigh, North Carolina, so this is a welcome return home. Lorna Tibbits is one of two athletes who will be representing theRead More

Plunge Perspectve

The Penguin Plunge: An Outsider’s Perspective By: Sam Notelovitz, SOVT Intern and student at Champlain College It’s rare that we see something truly beautiful. I don’t mean something like a painting or a sunset; those are nice, but not quite the same. A work of art is impressive in the sense that someone was ableRead More

Team Vermont Head of Delegation

Chris Lantz is a Program Coordinator for the Bennington Delegation, and is serving as Head of Delegation for Team Vermont as they prepare for and journey to the 2014 USA Games. Read on to see what Chris has to say about his Special Olympics experience. Thank you, Chris!   How long have you been coachingRead More

Special Olympics Vermont Welcomes Two New Staff Members

Special Olympics Vermont is thrilled to welcome two new staff members to the growing team in South Burlington.  Dusty Haselton has officially started in a new role as Operations Manager and Justin Graham has assumed the role of Athlete and Families Coordinator, formerly held by Kelly Wilkins. Dusty Haselton has over five years of experienceRead More

Penguin Plunge Preview – one Plunger, three times the courage

Around 1,500 people participate in the plunge in a given year, but there are few who brave the waters three times every year by participating in the Newport, North Bennington, and Burlington Plunges. Sarah Leach is one of these brave souls.   Could you start by giving me a brief history of your involvement withRead More

Penguin Plunge Preview – CVU Redhawks aim to raise $50,000!

Peter Booth’s dedication and leadership helped the CVU Redhawks raise $28,000 last year and become the highest fundraising team in the history of the event. He’s not stopping there though. This year, Booth and other faculty members are encouraging more student involvement in the Penguin Plunge in hopes of raising even more money for SpecialRead More

Penguin Plunge Preview – Burr and Burton Academy builds its first Plunge team

Lauren Miskovsky is a driven senior leader at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont. Inspired by various relationships formed through school programs, Lauren decided to push her dedication to Special Olympics one step further by encouraging others to do the North Bennington Penguin Plunge. This will be the first year that Burr and BurtonRead More

Penguin Plunge Preview – News from Antarctica

Hello Everyone! My name is Bryn Nolan and I am volunteering with Special Olympics Vermont to promote the annual Penguin Plunge events while home on winter break from college. My Penguin Plunge story brings me back to 2002 when I was a self-proclaimed, second grade daredevil and was inspired by a classmate, who then becameRead More

Dedicated Plunger celebrates 10th Penguin Plunge

When I jump into the icy waters of Lake Champlain on February 8, 2014, it will be the tenth time I’ve done so to raise money for Special Olympics Vermont. This charity has always been near & dear to my heart, but honestly that’s not what got me to take my first plunge. I firstRead More

Help Us Win $2,500 – Farm to Athlete

Special Olympics Vermont is participating in the MVP Health Care Project Go Contest.  We are piloting a Farm to Athlete Program at 2014 Summer Games and need your help in winning $2,500!  The top ten entries with the most votes will each win $2,500 for their project and will be in the running for aRead More

Class of 2013 Global Messengers

The Athlete Leadership Program strives to empower athletes to develop leadership skills, and utilize their voices, to assume meaningful leadership roles, and influence change in the Special Olympics movement.  At the recent Special Olympics Vermont Leading for the Future Conference held in early November, a small group of athletes elected to spend the weekend enhancingRead More

Disability Awareness Day – UVM Medical School

Last week we were invited to be part of Disability Awareness Day at the University of Vermont Medical School.  SOVT athletes Joshua Beaupre and Mary Lafountain had the opportunity to address two different sets of medical students.  As you might imagine, they did a wonderful job and the students were very engaged in the discussion. Read More

2012 Annual Report

Special Olympics Vermont is part of a global movement that works year round to foster inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities by using the power of sport to showcase their gifts and abilities.  Our 2012 Annual Report includes financial information, photos and our key accomplishments. Our work requires the time, financial support andRead More

2014 Scarf Project Update

Special Olympics Vermont will not be participating in the Winter Games Scarf Project in 2014.  We would like to thank the thousands of supporters for this Project over the years.  We were overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who made this Project such a huge success.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitateRead More

SOVT Welcomes Four New Board Members

Special Olympics Vermont recently welcomed four new board members:  Meredith Austin, Joel Desautels, Bethany Dubuque and Marge McDonnell. Meredith Austin is a Marketing Associate for Champlain Investment Partners.  She is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College with a degree in Business Administration.  Meredith’s volunteer experiences include service trips to Louisiana, Florida and the Dominican Republic. Read More

Leave It All On the Track

“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.” – Picabo Street


On Friday, October 11th at the Film House, Main Street Landing in Burlington, Special Olympics Vermont and the Vermont International Film Festival will present THE CRASH REEL.  This is the dramatic story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snowboarding; and one explosive issue, Traumatic Brain Injury. A comeback story with a difference.Read More

Applebee’s Promotion to Benefit SOVT

Special Olympics and Applebee’s have teamed up to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics athletes across New England and New York. Now through September 24th, you can enjoy a great meal and check out the icons for sale at each of the three Applebee’s locations in Vermont. Spread the word and help support Vermont’sRead More

SOVT on The Daily Saint

The Daily Saint is a website intended to restore your faith in humanity through a community of shared photos and stories of people behaving decently in a world that can feel very indecent at times.  We recently sent the photo below featuring SOVT athlete Stephen Smiel to the kind folks at The Daily Saint andRead More

2012 SOVT Statistics at a Glance

We are getting ready to publish our 2012 Annual Report, but here is a quick sneak peak.  This includes some great statistics about our athletes.   Check out this cool infographic.

Dates Announced for 2014 Penguin Plunge Series

Special Olympics Vermont is pleased to announce the dates for the 2014 Penguin Plunges. The three-part event series will take place in North Bennington on Saturday, February 1, in Burlington on Saturday, February 8th, and in Newport on Sunday, February 16th. As some of you were aware, it took us a bit of extra timeRead More

KeyBank Vermont City Marathon – Race Report

  Special Olympics Vermont had eight relay teams compete in the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon over Memorial Day weekend in Burlington.  The teams were part of the Miles for a Mission program with Run Vermont.  While we are still finalizing numbers, it looks like we will have raised more than $8,000 to support the athletesRead More

Special Olympics Vermont Team’s Up with Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel

Special Olympics Vermont has teamed up with Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel to raise funds and awareness during the month of June.  Customers can support Special Olympics Vermont via donations in any of the three Lenny’s stores in Barre, Williston or St. Albans. Donations can be made during the entire month of June.  Any customer whoRead More

TD Bank – Be a Fan Campaign

  Be a fan of Special Olympics! Join TD Bank in raising $1,200,000 to support Special Olympics athletes. Here’s how you can help. From May 13 – June 30: Make a donation at one of our teller counters Bring your loose change to our Penny Arcade coin counting machines* *Penny Arcade fee will be waivedRead More

Remembering Scott Moffitt

It is with great sadness that we are writing this post.  Scott Moffitt of Bennington recently passed away unexpectedly.  Scott loved Special Olympics and played basketball, soccer, track and field, bowling, aquatics and snowshoeing.  Scott was a wonderful teammate and role model. One of his coaches said, “Scott was a great guy and the epitome ofRead More


It’s time again to kick off this year’s P&GbrandSAVER® and Thank you, Mom program! Keep an eye out for your P&GbrandSAVER® coupon books in your local newspaper on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, 2013. This promotion is based on coupon redemption: Special Olympics will receive 2 cents for every coupon used and you must presentRead More

Wet WILLIeS (not that kind)

This morning we had the pleasure of being invited to Willis Captive Practice in Burlington.  They presented Special Olympics Vermont with a $1,500 check from The Willis Foundation in support of our 1,071 athletes.  Willis and its employees participated in the Burlington Penguin Plunge this year.  Through their 15 plungers, they raised a total ofRead More

Green Mountain Rehab Visit

We are thrilled to be associated with the great folks at Run Vermont.  We are an official Miles for a Mission partner for the 2013 KeyBank Vermont City Marathon.  We have eight relay teams who are raising funds and awareness by competing in this world class event that happens each May right in our backyard.Read More

2012 Annual Award Winners

Special Olympics Vermont is thrilled to announce the 2012 annual award winners.  The announcement and award presentation took place on Saturday, March 9th at The Woodstock Inn and Resort as part of the Winter Games competition.  Congratulations to all of the award recipients and thank you to everyone who sent in nominations. Female Athlete ofRead More

Special Olympics Vermont Welcomes Two New Staff Members

Special Olympics Vermont is pleased to welcome two professionals to the team in South Burlington.  Kelly Wilkins of Barre joined the organization as the Athletes and Families Coordinator and Chris Langevin of Highgate Springs is the new Sports Manager. Chris is a 2010 Graduate of Springfield College with a degree in Sports Management.  He hasRead More

Calling All Students!

Special Olympics Vermont invites you to Enter the R-WORD t-shirt design contest! Design the official Spread the Word to End the Word RETARD t-shirt Winner gets a $150 Best Buy gift card, plus $500 for their school’s Project Unify program! Deadline for submission is midnight on January 31, 2013 Contest Guidelines All Vermont elementary, middleRead More

Happy Holidays

Hello from Special Olympics Vermont! Thank you for all of your support in 2012.  We are set to record the largest number of athletes participating, coupled with more training and personal development opportunities than ever before.  Our work involves so many resources and we are thankful to have the support of thousands of Vermonters. OverRead More

World Games Athletes Featured on WCAX

Josh Beaupre, Leah Boardman and Larry Strobridge along with coaches Missie Rodriguez and Mike White, who were selected to be part of Special Olympics Team USA at the 2013 World Winter Games in the Republic of Korea were in Lake Placid, NY last week for training camp.  WCAX was there to cover the action andRead More

2013 Winter Games Scarf Project

Yarn: Your choice; washable preferred Color – Black, white, grey  (any or all combinations of those three colors) Pattern, needles: Your choice Suggested size: 6” wide x 5’ long Deadline:  February 22,  2013 Please deliver or mail completed scarves to: Special Olympics Vermont 16 Gregory Drive, Suite 2, South Burlington, VT 05403 Questions? Contact PattyRead More

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

For those of you not familiar with the incident, Ann Coulter recently published a highly offensive tweet following the most recent presidential debate.  Rather than responding directly to Ms. Coulter, we are simply sharing a guest blog post from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens.  John’s words say more than we everRead More

New Penguin Wrangler

We are thrilled to welcome Liza Reed to SOVT.  Liza joined us on October 1st as the Special Events Manager (aka Head Penguin Wrangler). Prior to joining SOVT Liza had been the Development Manager for Vermont Youth Orchestra Association since 2008. Liza joins Special Olympics Vermont after nearly four years with the Vermont Youth OrchestraRead More

Bennington Softball Takes Silver in Oklahoma

In late September, 17 athletes, partners and coaches loaded a plane in Albany bound for Oklahoma City to compete in the 2012 Special Olympics National Softball Invitational.  The competition included 30 teams from the US along with teams from Canada, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.  The Vermont Catamounts, as they call themselves, played teams fromRead More

Advice from an Experienced Penguin

John “Johnboy” Wagner has been participating in the Burlington Penguin Plunge for over 10 years and usually takes the icy dip with the sponsor team from Merchants Bank, the ChillyLynx. Being a veteran to the icy waters, John had a few words of advice for first timers: Always wear shoes. Don’t think about it. TheRead More

Are you brave enough?

Last year we asked, “Are you brave enough?”.  Over 1,500 participants responded “We’ve got 32 degrees of courage!” and took the plunge into icy Vermont waters in January and February.  This year we welcome you to join us in celebrating the 2013 Penguin Plunge series to support our 1,054 athletes.  Be an “early bird” andRead More

Thank you Fischer Sports

Joshua Beaupre has been a Special Olympics Vermont athlete for more than eight years.  In 2013, he will put all of those training days to good use as he will be representing Team USA (and Vermont) at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea.  Joshua has already started an extensive dry-land trainingRead More

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Displays Olympic Spirit by Raising $12,000 to Support Special Olympics Vermont

WILLISTON, VT – In true Olympic spirit, Vermonters went for the gold and raised $12,000 for local athletes with intellectual disabilities. Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel held a month-long Olympic donation event, and the store and its customers collectively raised $12,000 for Special Olympics Vermont. Lenny’s co-owner Mark McCarthy presented that donation to Jeff LaBonte, BoardRead More

Board of Directors Golf Tournament Recap

On Friday July 13th we held our 7th annual Board of Directors Golf Tournament at the Links at Lang Farm in Essex Junction.  We had 96 golfers enjoy the beautiful weather and course.   In all, the event raised nearly $15,000 for the 1,054 athletes of Special Olympics Vermont. Special thanks to our sponsors, golfers, athletesRead More

Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel Promotion

In true Olympic spirit, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel, Vermont’s favorite locally owned retailer of quality outdoor gear, is sponsoring an in-store donation event to support Special Olympics Vermont. Customers are encouraged to donate with in-store saving incentives. Lenny’s will also make a contribution every time Team USA wins a medal during the 2012 Olympic Games.Read More

Bennington Police Department Carries “Flame of Hope” for SOVT Athletes

The Bennington Police Department once again joined Special Olympics Vermont to run the Flame of Hope torch from Bennington into Shaftsbury, VT where it was passed onto the Bennington County Sheriff’s Department and the Vermont State Police on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012. Bennington Police Officers have run the Flame of Hope for over twenty years. Read More

2013 Winter World Games Announcement

Special Olympics Vermont has selected three athletes to represent Vermont as members of Team USA at the 2013 Winter World Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in January.  In addition to the three athletes, Vermont will also have two coaches and one management team representative.  Below you will find each of the names along with theirRead More

2012 SAAC Catamount Country Talent Show

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in April, a dedicated group of student athletes from the University of Vermont hosted their second annual Catamount Country Talent Show.  The group of students are members of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.  In 2011 the group wanted to start an event to give back to their community.  They thought,Read More

TD Bank – Be a Fan Campaign

TD Bank, TD Insurance and TD Ameritrade have partnered with Special Olympics to raise $1,200,000 through employee-focused initiatives.  Special Olympics Vermont is thrilled to be part of the “Be a Fan” campaign, now in it’s 4th year.  When you visit your local TD Bank, please consider making a donation to support our 1,054 athletes inRead More

Call for Volunteers

On June 1st -3rd, more than 700 Special Olympics Vermont athletes and partners will be competing at our largest annual competition, Summer Games at the University of Vermont. We need more than 300 volunteers to make the Summer Games a success.  Please visit this form if you are interested in helping us.  There you willRead More

Good Example of True Sportsmanship

Here is an article that was shared with us from one of our schools programs in Rutland.  It really captures the heart of our work. Published: April 4, 2012 I would like to take this opportunity to recognize a special Rutland High School athletic team that many people do not know about, the Rutland HighRead More

2011 Annual Awards

On Saturday, March 10th at The Woodstock Inn and Resort more than 350 athletes, volunteers, staff and supporters attended our Annual Awards Banquet.  Those listed below were presented with a summit award courtesy of Simon Pearce and formally recognized.  Congratulations to all! Program of the Year – Rutland Eagles Unified Sports Program of the YearRead More

Why I Volunteer: John Gamble

For the past three years I have carved out a weekend from my busy work (and social) schedule in order to head to Woodstock, VT where I volunteer for the Special Olympics Winter Games.  My initial reasoning was to support a good friend who works for Special Olympics.  By the end of the day’s events,Read More

2012 N. Bennington Penguin Plunge

On January 28th 105 participants plunged into Lake Paran in North Bennington to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Vermont.  While the air temperature was an unseasonable 41 degrees, there was a thick layer of ice that was removed to open up the water for the Plungers.  This was the largest N. Bennington PenguinRead More

2013 Special Olympics Winter World Games – South Korea

The 2012 Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games on March 9 – 11th at Suicide Six will have athletes going the extra distance to try and earn one of three spots for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea.  The Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held January 26 – February 6,Read More

Spread the Word to End the Word

Spread the Word to End the Word is an on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support. Join thousandsRead More

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