When it comes to integrity, energy, flexibility and selflessness, one man has exemplified these qualities while hitting the mark on all fronts –Phil Dant. On Tuesday, November 19, the Indiana Sports Corp hosted their prestigious annual Pathfinder Awards Luncheon at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. Over 800 people attended, as the Indiana Sports Corp recognized its assortment of 2013 volunteers including Jeff Saturday and his wife, (retired center who most notably played for the Indianapolis Colts.)
Less than 10 were recognized that afternoon, Phil Dant being one. He was honored for his work in the community as an all-star, volunteering with the Indiana Sports Corp for over 10 years. Dant accepted the “Franchise Player Award,” which is given to the person who has an extensive and formidable resume in volunteering with Indiana Sports Corp. Special Olympics Indiana congratulates Dant on the prestigious award and also recognizes him for his stellar volunteering efforts with Special Olympics Indiana. A dedicated volunteer with over 25 years of volunteerism for this organization, he truly exemplifies a remarkable member of our Special Olympics Indiana family. “One of my favorite memories happened while volunteering at an annual golf tournament,” said Dant. An athlete had been disappointed with his score and saddened that he could not hit the ball. I spoke with the young man and tried to encourage him. I even reminded him of the Special Olympics athlete oath! After our short three minute talk, he focused; hit the ball, shooting a 70! For anyone who knows golf, that’s great! Moments like that make volunteering beyond worthwhile for me.”
Anyone who knows Phil is immediately touched by his warm spirit and big heart. He is unassuming and does not volunteer to receive accolades –but does it because it fills him with joy! “To be recognized out of thousands of volunteers, I was thrilled!” Dant stated. “The fact that the Indiana Sports Corp could narrow down volunteers with a database of over 12,000 was tremendous! Volunteering means more to me than words can even describe. Whether I am volunteering for the Indiana Sports Corp to provide people with pleasant experiences so they fall in love with this gem of a city we call Indianapolis, or working with the most incredible and ambitious athletes at Special Olympics Indiana, the best way to describe how I feel –is lucky!”
Again, big congratulations to Phil Dant! We are proud.
Special Olympics Indiana and the Brebeuf Jesuit Partnership Proves Successful Once Again!
Three years and running strong….
Special Olympics Indiana hosted its largest Indianapolis-based event Sunday, September 15, 2013 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School – the official game-day stomping grounds for EKS Games. Four state championships for distance run and walk, flag football, corn toss and volleyball took place on the private Catholic school’s campus.
“Ongoing partnerships such as the Brebeuf community and IHSAA have been integral to Special Olympics Indiana and have truly made EKS Games come to life year after year,” said Michael Furnish, president and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana. Brebeuf’s Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT) took part in a management-style role to galvanize their community, as over 90% of their student population volunteered on Sunday to help our athletes with intellectual disabilities.”
Over 2,200 athletes and over 1,000 volunteers were in attendance. This year marks the third annual EKS Games as it continues to grow each year.
Nearly 5,000 people participated in the festivities with a tailgate experience known as EKS Fest taking center stage. It was a day full of both fun as well as games when athletes took a break from competing and danced to the Endless Summer Band. Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks was dropped by and she made her way around the campus greeting athletes and their families and sharing what the EKS Games means to her.
The EKS Fest came to a close with the popular the Law Enforcement Torch Run bringing over 50 law enforcement officers from around the state together as they ran on to Brebeuf’s campus carrying the Flame of Hope and lit the Special Olympics Caldron.
A great run over the two weekends (September 6 -15), proved once again successful! Thank you to Brebeuf Jesuit and everyone for their support and participation. See you next year!
On Saturday, October 12, Tip-A-Cop Day took over the state –literally from top to bottom, with all 10 Red Robin locations participating in the National Tip-A-Cop Day!
Red Robin and Special Olympics partnered together once again to host a day for law enforcement to transform into “Celebrity Waiters,” and serve tables. They asked for additional “tips,” that day to help raise money for Special Olympics Indiana athletes through the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
The day proved highly successful for Red Robins in Indiana –with law enforcement generating over $15,000, with nearly 100% of the tips benefitting Special Olympics Indiana!
We are not sure if you had the opportunity to attend, however, if so, we thank you very much for your support. We also greatly appreciate all of our law enforcements support here in Indiana. Their perpetual presence with Special Olympics Indiana is definitely felt throughout our entire organization.
We hope to continue growing, and most importantly we hope to see you all next year!
Congratulations to our bocce team representing Indiana at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games!
Jim Benadum of Delaware County
Dennis Coffey of Grant County
Lisa Holt of Delaware County
Rachel Loft of Grant County
Coach: Brent Bowgren of Porter County.
Brent’s selection is the first time that SO Indiana has selected an athlete leader to be a coach for a National or World Games. Brent is a graduate of ALPs University and current member of the Bocce Sport Management Team at Summer Games. His selection expands even further the role SO athletes play in our Indiana organization. Congratulations to Brent for being a pioneer in this regard. He has earned this coaching position!
Our bowling team for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey. Congratulations to:
Athletes – Josh Saupe (Hendricks County) and Andrew Petrovich (Porter County)
Unified Partners – Matthew Saupe (Hendricks County) and Kathryn Petrovich (Porter County)
Coach – Cinda Milan (Area 5 Director)
The Saupe Brothers and the Petrovich mother/son combinations add a great dynamic to this team. The athletes will compete in Singles, Unified Doubles and Unified 4-Person Team. Our partners will compete in the Unified events only.