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Special Olympics Oregon

June 21, 2018

An Update from Britt Carlson Oase, CEO, Special Olympics Oregon

Dear SOOR Community,

This week, we have heard the frustration and disappointment of some regarding our announcement of the suspension of the 2018 State Games competitions.

The impact of this decision affects our entire Special Olympics Oregon family; however, suspending the 2018 Games was financially necessary to maintain local training and competitions while working to rebuild our events over time.

I have had conversations with parents, athletes, volunteers and families who have all been open and honest with their feelings. I thank you for reaching out to share your passion, concerns, ideas and optimism regarding the future of SOOR. I welcome this constructive feedback.

The passion, pride and belief so many of you have in SOOR is inspiring and will be key to our success moving forward. And there is no more loyal long-standing partner of our mission than the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR): law enforcement representatives throughout the state who volunteer year-round on our behalf. With the annual Torch Run coming up next month, we are thankful that their commitment to our athletes has been unwavering.

Sgt. Joel Goodwin, past chair of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOOR said: “As law enforcement professionals, we recognize doing the right thing is not always easy.  The decision to suspend 2018 Games was clearly a difficult one, but we are confident Special Olympics Oregon will ultimately be able to provide more sustainable programming for our athletes as a result. The Oregon Law Enforcement Torch Run continues to support our Special Olympics athletes, and our mission remains unchanged: to raise funds for and awareness of Special Olympics Oregon, as well as promote inclusion for persons with intellectual disabilities. As a testament of our commitment to Special Olympics athletes throughout Oregon, we will proceed with the Torch Run as planned in the second week of July.  Our commitment to Special Olympics Oregon remains unchanged.”

What’s happening now?

1. We are connecting with individuals, organizations and companies to share our vision for the future, in which we are finding a forward focused spirit of collaboration

2. A team from Special Olympics North America visited to provide technical support for the long-term sustainability of Special Olympics Oregon

3. We are developing new fundraising ideas to celebrate our mission and rebuild the resources we need going forward

4. Most importantly, I will continue to listen to your feedback as this effort must be collaborative with our Local Programs, athletes, key volunteers, LETR, supporters, partners and staff

Our mission of providing training and competition opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities remains unchanged.

Thank you for your understanding, patience and support as we all work together for the Special Olympics Oregon we all love.

Sincerely,
Britt Carlson Oase
CEO Special Olympics Oregon

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