Special Olympics athletes across Southern California are preparing to close out the 2019 competition calendar.
The fall season consists of five sports: golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. Among the competitions on the event calendar, the North (Oct. 26) and Central (Oct. 19) divisions will host respective Divisional Fall Games competitions.
The season will culminate Nov. 9 and 10 at Special Olympics Southern California’s annual Fall Games as more than 800 athletes compete for medals and ribbons in Fountain Valley.
Fun In-Between the Games
When the athletes aren’t enjoying themselves on the courts and playing fields, there will be fundraisers to attend and take part in.
The fun began with Thursday’s Cop on a Rooftop at participating Dunkin’ stores across Southern California. From 6-10 a.m., local law enforcement took to rooftops and greeted drive-thru customers, along with Special Olympics athletes and Dunkin’ employees, to help raise awareness and funds.
The campaign raised more than $54,000, including nearly $1,400 from Text2Give donations. The total exceeded the $42,552 raised last year.
But the fun is only just beginning.
Foodies will have an even bigger reason to love October. On Oct. 6, Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park will host Pier del Sol from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The culinary event will bring together more than 35 of the best chefs and restaurants from around Los Angeles.
The following weekend, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will host its annual Fun in the Sun Chili Cookoff from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Jack Bones Equestrian Center on Oct. 12. With the purchase of a chili tasting card, attendees will get to sample chili from more than 25 booths and vote for their favorite, and the funds raised will benefit Special Olympics Santa Clarita & Tri-Valley athletes.
Two days later, golf enthusiasts will take part in the 16th annual Columbus Day Drive at the Mission Viejo Country Club. The event will benefit 6,000 Special Olympics athletes in Orange County.
Up north, a pair of events centered around delicious BBQ will take place the same week in San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara, respectively. On Oct. 18, Atascadero State Hospital will host a prepaid $10 event, which will include a tri-tip sandwich, chips, cookie and a drink. The next day, the fifth annual Fired Up for Special Olympics dinner hosted by local firefighters will take place at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.
November will include a 1920s-themed Casino Night fundraiser as the Inland Empire hosts Hats Off to Special Olympics on Nov. 2. The event will take place at Speakeasy on State in Redlands.
That’s just a few of the highlights, in addition to the various Tip-A-Cop fundraisers (check out a complete calendar) from now through the end of the year.
Inside the SOSC is a blog managed by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.