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West // West Oahu Coverstory
Jaimie Kim

Campbell Companies Aid Special Olympians

HMSA Foundation was among the local businesses donating to Special Olympics Hawaii to help with construction costs of its new sports center in Kapolei. Pictured (from left) are HMSA president and CEO Michael A. Gold, Special Olympics board member Howard Karr, Special Olympics president and CEO Nancy Bottelo and Special Olympics athlete Stephanie Zane. Photo courtesy Bennet Group.

In its effort to continue to be a resource to families with special-needs children, Special Olympics Hawaii (SOH) have moved a step closer to building a sports complex in Kapolei, thanks to recent donations from four local companies.

Totaling approximately $510,000, the funds came from the James & Abigail Campbell Family and HMSA foundations, James Campbell Co. and First Hawaiian Bank.

“We are most grateful to those who donate to our organization,” said SOH president and CEO Nancy Bottelo. “We know there is an abundance of other organizations people have to choose from, and we appreciate that people understand how important our services are to Hawaii’s most neglected citizens.”

Construction of the new facility, which will be located adjacent to Kroc Center, is expected to start at the end of this year, with phase one being completed by the end of 2015.

“Special Olympics Hawaii’s plan focuses on the creation of a multi-purpose sports, education, fitness and wellness facility in Kapolei, for use by the entire community of Hawaii,” said Bottelo, “with an emphasis on providing accessible facilities to persons with intellectual disabilities to showcase their abilities.”

SOH annually provides 40 competitions in nine sports for about 3,500 children and adults. Bottelo credits this to more than 7,000 coaches and volunteers.

“Through sports, our athletes learn to follow rules, to be a part of a team, to pay attention to the coach or teacher,” said Bottelo. “They develop self-confidence and self-esteem, making them better students.”

The SOH goal is simple: “to create a community throughout the state, where people with intellectual disabilities are accepted, respected and a vibrant part of their communities,” said Bottelo.

When completed, the Sports and Wellness Center will be the first of its kind, and free to all athletes and families.

“The Special Olympics Hawaii Sports and Wellness Center would create, for the first time, an inclusive training and competition environment designed specifically to unite athletes of all abilities and train other service providers so they may bring these programs back to their communities,” she added.

In addition to sports and training competitions, the center will provide physical examinations, oral health and vision screenings, and sports skills assessments.

SOH continues to accept donations for construction. For every dollar donated up to $150,000, the James Campbell Family Foundation will match it.

For more details on Special Olympics Hawaii, visit specialolympicshawaii.org, call 943-8808, follow on Twitter (twitter.com/sohawaii) or like on Facebook (facebook.com/specialolympicshawaii).

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