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Special Olympics Summer Games Success

We are proud to report that SEASPAR’s 14 athletes who competed at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games earned a total of 25 medals, including 17 gold, at the competition held at Illinois State University June 9-11. Twelve of the athletes earned at least one gold medal!

The Summer Games is the largest of the more than 175 Special Olympics competitions held throughout Illinois each year, and is the final state competition for Aquatics, Athletics (track and field), Bocce, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, and Soccer. Approximately 4,000 athletes competed at the event at the Illinois State University campus. SEASPAR trained athletes in all six sports of the competition.

Powerlifting

Allen Rosete

Allen Rosete

SEASPAR’s two Powerlifting athletes both earned multiple medals:

  • Emily Lundvall, Westmont: Gold in both Bench Press and Combination. Silver in Deadlift. Set a new personal record for Deadlift!
  • Allen Rosete, Darien: Gold in Bench Press and Deadlift. Silver in Combination. First-time Powerlifting competitor!

Artistic Gymnastics

The three Artistic Gymnastics competitors trained by SEASPAR also earned multiple medals:

  • Bridget Brown, Darien: Gold in Balance Beam. Silver in Uneven Bars. Fourth in Vault. Fifth in Floor Routine.
  • Anna Cavallo, Downers Grove: Gold in Balance Beam, Uneven Bars, and Vault. Fourth in Floor Routine.
  • Kari Winter, Downers Grove: Gold in Uneven Bars. Silver in Vault. Fifth in Balance Beam and Floor Routine.

Aquatics

William Porch with Medals

William Porch

Five athletes represented SEASPAR in Aquatics events:

  • Ryan McGuire, La Grange: Gold in 25M Freestyle and 25M Backstroke. First-time Summer Games competitor!
  • Mark Ploskonka, Darien: Gold in 50M Freestyle. Bronze in 50M Backstroke.
  • William Porch, Westmont: Silver in 50M Backstroke. Seventh in 50M Freestyle.
  • Sam Smetko, La Grange Park: Gold in 50M Backstroke. Silver in 100M Freestyle.
  • Chris Tegeler, Darien: Fifth in 50M Backstroke. Seventh in 50M Freestyle.
  • Ploskonka, Porch, Smetko, and Tegeler: Gold in the 4X100M Freestyle Relay.

Soccer

One SEASPAR athlete participated in the Soccer competition on the cooperative team representing SEASPAR and the Lily Cache Special Recreation Association, which serves the Bolingbrook and Plainfield Park Districts. Nate Church of La Grange earned a gold medal with his teammates.

Athletics

SEASPAR was represented by one competitor in Athletics (track and field). Michael Drabik of Woodridge earned a bronze medal in the Pentathlon, which comprises five different events: 100-Meter Run, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, and 400-Meter Run.

Bocce

Mark Buglio of Lisle and Amanda Skozinski of Downers Grove teamed up to represent SEASPAR in the Bocce Traditional Doubles event, earning fourth place in Skozinski’s first Summer Games competition.

Join us in congratulating these athletes on their hard work and well-deserved recognition!

View more photos from the Summer Games on Flickr.


Picnic & Flick on July 22

Trolls Movie LogoJoin SEASPAR and the Village of Indian Head Park for a FREE night of food and family fun at Blackhawk Park on July 22 at 6:30 p.m.!

Enjoy a BBQ featuring hot dogs, bratwurst, baked beans, salads, dessert, and more. Then watch DreamWorks’ Trolls on a big screen in the park while snacking on popcorn and cotton candy!

Please bring lawn chairs or blankets and insect repellent. Blackhawk Park is located near the intersection of Acacia Drive and Cascade Drive in Indian Head Park. View on Google Maps.

This event is free and open to the public! RSVP online or call SEASPAR at 630.960.7600 by July 19.


Believe & Achieve Banquet and Awards

On May 17, SEASPAR staff, volunteers, participants, families, and partners came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Believe & Achieve Recognition Banquet. More than 250 people attended the event at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

One highlight of the banquet is the presentation of awards to participants, staff, volunteers, and community partners. Please join us in congratulating the following award winners!

Athlete of the Year Tyler Reineke

Tyler Reineke

Athlete of the Year – Tyler Reineke

Tyler started with our Special Olympics Softball program four years ago and has since competed in Athletics, Basketball, and Volleyball as well. Tyler is recognized for his hard work, heart, and hustle, and accepts his award by saying, “I’ll just continue to work hard and do the best I can.” Watch Tyler’s award presentation on YouTube.

Cultural Artist of the Year – Kyler Wulff
You’ve likely seen videos of Kyler’s incredible piano performances from our Holiday Spectacular and Music Recital. He is described by his piano instructor, Deb Judycki, as being “on a mission to be the best.” Kyler agrees, saying in his acceptance speech, “Pretty soon, I’m going to be doing big things.” We have no doubt! Watch Kyler’s award presentation on YouTube.

Cultural Artist of the Year Kyler Wulff

Kyler Wulff

Achievement Award – Bridget Brown
Bridget has too many accomplishments to list, so we’ll just say that she is a national inclusion advocate through her Butterflies for Change organization, her role as a Special Olympics Illinois Global Messenger, and her position as an officer for the National Association for Down Syndrome, to name a few! We are proud that she is one of our very own, but Bridget remains humble, simply accepting her award with a quote from Meister Eckhart: “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Watch Bridget’s award presentation on YouTube.

Leading Light Award (Part-time Staff) – Lori Hohenstein
Lori has been with us since 2012 and is the Site Director for our EAGLES Adult Day Program in Brookfield while also working other SEASPAR programs. She is beloved by participants, their families, and fellow staff, and she always finds fun and creative ways to encourage participants to be more independent than they were the day before. We’re all lucky to have her on the SEASPAR team! Watch Lori’s award presentation on YouTube.

Achievement Award Winner Bridget Brown

Bridget Brown

Super Star Award (Part-time Staff) – Tim Lieb
Tim has been one of our most invaluable staff members since 2013 and has worked in nearly every program area we offer. But to some he’s most well known as “Coach,” as he teaches and inspires our Special Olympics athletes in sports from tennis to flag football to powerlifting. We’re grateful for everything Tim does for SEASPAR and our participants! Watch Tim’s award presentation on YouTube.

Volunteer Hall of Fame Induction – Gary Naberhaus
Gary has been an official SEASPAR volunteer since 1994 and has clocked more than 7,000 service hours in those 20+ years. From being a Special Olympics coach for at least nine sports, to helping people soar on the Serena’s Song hot air balloon, to having some of the best moves on the floor at our dances, Gary is an indispensable member of the SEASPAR family! Watch Gary’s induction presentation on YouTube.

Community Partner Award – Midwestern University
Midwestern University of Downers Grove has been a SEASPAR partner for 20 years. Currently, Midwestern students are an integral part of two of our most popular special events for teen and adult participants – the Midwestern Dance and the Team Bowling Tournament. Both the students and the participants benefit from this incredible partnership, and we are grateful for Midwestern’s long-term support of SEASPAR! Watch Midwestern University’s award presentation on YouTube.

Community Partner Award – DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund
The DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund is one of SEASPAR’s newest partners but has made a significant impact on our programming over the last two years. The Fund financially supports the Commit to Be Fit Program for our EAGLES Adult Day Program, which has changed the EAGLES culture to a more health-focused environment through education, meal planning, and exercise. The DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund has helped our participants embrace healthy habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives! Watch the DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund’s award presentation on YouTube.

Community Partner Award – Spectrum Vocational Services
Spectrum Vocational Services of Downers Grove (a division of Little Friends) has been a SEASPAR partner for 40 years, and together we offer weekly recreational and social programming for our shared clients and participants. This long-term partnership has benefited both organizations and we look forward to working together for the next 40 years! Watch Spectrum’s award presentation on YouTube.

Another highlight of the Believe & Achieve Recognition Banquet is the video presentation that shares the experiences of participants through photos and videos taken at programs and events. Watch this year’s video, entitled “Follow Us for FUN!” on YouTube.

View more photos from the event on Flickr!


Summer Golf Classic on July 28

SEASPAR’s Summer Golf Classic returns for its 15th year on Friday, July 28 at the Woodridge Park District’s Village Greens of Woodridge, an 18-hole championship golf course in a picturesque setting.

Golfers at Summer Golf ClassicRegistration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. with a 12:30 p.m. start time. The tournament format is a four-person team scramble. Individuals not in a foursome will be paired.

Each player receives a box lunch, giveaways, and complimentary range and putting green use. An awards ceremony, buffet dinner, and raffle follow the tournament.

Tickets for the Golf Classic are $150 per person and include golf, lunch, and dinner. Tickets for the dinner only are available for $50 per person. Purchase tickets online!

Organizations and individuals are also invited to sponsor the event. Sponsorship opportunities are available for dollar amounts from $50 to $1,250.

Proceeds from the Golf Classic will be used to support our recreational programs and services for individuals with disabilities.

Come enjoy a day on the course while doing something great for your community!

For more information or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please call us at 630.960.7600.


Summer Program & Event Openings

Did you miss the online registration deadline for the summer season? You’re in luck – we’re still accepting registrations by mail and in person for these programs and events!

Programs for Everyone

  • Horseback Riding Lessons (Holistic Riding Equestrian Therapy) – Multiple dates and times – Lemont
  • Ice Skating – Wednesdays, 6/21-8/9, 4:40-5:20 p.m. – Woodridge
  • Swimming Lessons – Thursdays, 6/15-8/3 – Oak Brook

Programs and Events for Children & Young Teens

  • Right Fit (Ages 8-15) – Tuesdays, June 13-August 1, 4-5 p.m. or 5-6 p.m. – Willowbrook
  • Beginner Gymnastics (Ages 4-10) – Thursdays, June 15-August 3, 6-6:45 p.m. – Westmont
  • Woodridge Jubilee Carnival (Ages 11-15) – Saturday, June 17 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Teen Excursion – 4th of July Celebration (Ages 11-15) – Saturday, July 1 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Boy SwimmingPark n’ Pool (Ages 5-10) – Saturday, July 1 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Teen Excursion – Art with Animals (Ages 11-15) – Saturday, July 22 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Swimming Spectacular (Ages 11-15) – Sunday, July 23 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Swimming & Ice Cream (Ages 5-10) – Saturday, August 5 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Teen Overnight (Ages 11-15) – Friday, August 11-Saturday, August 12 – Lisle (Denning & Lemont transportation available)

Programs and Events for Teens & Adults

  • Wrestle Mania – Mondays, June 12 & 26, July 10 & 24, 7-9 p.m. – Lisle (Denning transportation available)
  • Baseball Tour – Wednesdays, June 14 & 28, July 12, August 9 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Baseball Bonanza – Sundays, June 25, July 2, 9, & 30, 1-4:45 p.m. – Westmont (Denning & Lemont transportation available)
  • Chicago Cubs (Only a few tickets left!) – Sunday, July 9 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Animal Assisted TherapyAnimal Assisted Therapy – Tuesdays, July 11-August 1, 7-8 p.m. – Darien
  • Bristol Renaissance Faire – Sunday, July 16 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Old Town Pour House – Sunday, July 23 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Chicago White Sox (Only a few tickets left!) – Saturday, July 29 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available
  • Movie in the Park – Friday, August 4, 8:30-10:30 p.m. – Westmont
  • Funfest – Saturday, August 5, 4-7 p.m. – Clarendon Hills (Lemont transportation available)
  • FVSRA Bowling Tournament – Saturday, September 9 – Denning, Lemont, & SEASPAR transportation available

Download the Summer Program Guide for program/event details, call us at 630.960.7600 for more information, or visit our registration page for printable registration forms!


Summer Kick-Off Party on June 11

Boy with Cotton CandyCome enjoy an afternoon of fun with all your SEASPAR friends at the annual Summer Kick-Off Party!

This year’s event will take place on Sunday, June 11 from 1-4 p.m. at Ty Warner Park in Westmont. We’ll have food, games, music, and lots of good times!

The Summer Kick-Off Party is a free program for participants of all ages and their families. Please RSVP online or by calling 630.960.7600 by June 7.


Horseback Riding Lessons in Lemont

Boy on HorseA new session has been added to our lineup of Horseback Riding Lessons at Holistic Riding Equestrian Therapy at Kopping Farm in Lemont!

The new four-week session will be on Thursdays from May 25 through June 15. The one-hour lessons begin at 5 p.m. The fee is $350, and participants must be ambulatory and able to sit on a horse without a riding partner.

This program is for all experience levels. Riders improve their balance, core stability, and strength while they enjoy the movement of their horse. Holistic Riding follows the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International’s (PATH) guidelines and its instructors are PATH certified.

Additional dates and times may also be available. For more information and to register, please contact Cathy Morava at 630.960.7600.


Walk and Roll-A-Thon on May 21

Walk and Roll-A-Thon ParticipantsSEASPAR’s annual Walk and Roll-A-Thon fundraising event is returning to Ebersold Park in Downers Grove on Sunday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to noon!

SEASPAR participants, their families and friends, and all community members who support SEASPAR’s work are invited to participate.

Take part in the event by asking family, friends, churches, clubs, teachers, co-workers, and others to sponsor you for each lap you complete around the half-mile course at Ebersold Park. Then walk, run, or roll on May 21, collect the money, and submit it to SEASPAR!

This all-ages event welcomes walkers, runners, wheelchairs, rollerblades, strollers, and leashed dogs. Refreshments will be served, and all participants receive a t-shirt. Please register by Monday, May 15.

The funds raised by the event will be put toward the purchase of a SEASPAR vehicle scheduled to be replaced in the near future. For more information or to request a pledge form, please call SEASPAR at 630.960.7600.


Chip In for SEASPAR 9-Hole Golf Event on May 12

GolfersEnjoy an afternoon on the greens on Friday, May 12 at the Downers Grove Golf Course while supporting SEASPAR’s mission of providing top-notch recreational programs and services to people with disabilities!

Registration for this 9-hole outing opens at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at noon. Tickets are $50/person and include lunch. Proceeds benefit SEASPAR’s programs and services.

Register online today, or call us at 630.960.7600 if you have any questions.


Registration Open for Summer Programs

Summer 2017 Program GuideRegistration is now open for SEASPAR’s summer programs!

Download the Program Guide for program details, visit our registration page for more information, or submit your registration online now!

We’re excited to offer new programs including Developmental Special Olympics Swimming for ages 8 and older, and Bike the Trails 101 for ages 16 and older!

And don’t forget about summer day camp! This year we’ll focus on exploring “The Great Outdoors,” and we’ve extended our Kids Camp and Teen & Adult Camp days by one half-hour. Call us at 630.960.7600 to have a copy of our Day Camp Guide mailed to you, or download it now!

Online registration for all programs closes on Monday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m.


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