Special Olympics New Jersey held its 2014 Awards Dinner on Friday, November 21, 2014 at the Hilton Hotel and Executive Meeting Center in East Brunswick, New Jersey. The event recognized the Special Athletes who compete in a multitude of athletic events as well as the volunteers and supporters of Special Olympics New jersey.
Special Olympics New Jersey this past June hosted the Special Olympics World games and highlights of the games were shown to the 500 attendees. The SONJ announced its 2015 major statewide competitions throughout the state to include the Floor Hockey Tournament in January at Stockton College in Galloway, New Jersey; The Winter Games in February in Vernon, New Jersey; The Spring Sports Festival in March in North Brunswick and Wildwood, New Jersey; The Summer Games at the College of New Jersey in Trenton, New jersey and the Fall Sports Festival in October in Allentown, New Jersey.
Awards for Outstanding Athletes were presented to Bradford Hennefer for Fall Sports, Robert Stutts for Winter Sports, John Morgan for Spring Sports and Bbecky Scheick for Summer Sports. Additional awards were presented to Karen Skellington, Dale Martin, Brian Hughes and Nick Micili for Spirit. All the awardees had truly inspirational stories and significant accomplishments at many levels to include gold medals at the World Games.
Each of the Area Directors was recognized for their ongoing commitment and “a lifetime of dedication given to the athletes, their families and to the organization.” There are 13 area directors in the state each with their own area of responsibility and each stage local events for the athletes in a wide range of sports.
Also recognized were the many “partners” who contributed to the success of Special Olympics through their volunteer efforts in raising funds for the cause. Tops among these were the Law Enforcement Partners who raise over a million dollars each year through their programs to include the torch Run which is in its 31st year. Champion Partners were next to include Wakefern Food Corporation/Shop Rite, TD Bank and Wawa,. Premier Partners included the Jersey Shore Running Club, Delta Dental, New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, New York Football giants, Professional Insurance Agents of new jersey and the Walmart Foundation. Many other organizations were also recognized as Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Foundation partners.
The Jersey Shore Running Club was recognized for its efforts in staging RunAPalooza to benefit Special, Olympics New Jersey. The event which has been held for 18 consecutive years always in April now includes the Jersey Shore Relay Marathon, Asbury Park Half Marathon and Jersey Shore 5K. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 and registration and sponsorship is open. The event has grown every year and draws a field of over 3000 participants from across the state and the country. Information can be obtained on the RunAPalooza web site.
Special Olympics New Jersey is headquartered at their Sports Complex located at 1 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Way in Lawarenceville, New Jersey. More information on all of their programs can be found on their web site.