Swinging For The Gold

The San Diego Golf Academy (SDGA) is teaming together with the Honolulu Advertiser for the second year at the annual Swing for the Gold golf tournament to benefit Special Olympics Hawaii. The event will take place on Friday, August 11th at 11.30 a.m. at the Hawaii Prince Golf Club. Paul Zagnoni, President of SDGA, promises a fun-filled day of golf followed by an awards dinner celebrating the Honolulu Advertiser’s Sesquicentennial anniversary.

Swing for Gold is part of Special Olympics Hawaii, which conducts a year-round program of physical training and competition at local, area and chapter levels. During the Special Olympics athletes compete at local and area events prior to advancing to the chapter level competition. Special Olympics Hawaii athletes are offered the opportunity to participate and compete in clinics, camps and competitions in the following sports and events: Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Fitness, Power Lifting, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Speed Skating.

The story of Special Olympics Inc. begins back in 1946 when the Kennedy family founded the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation, to honor the memory of Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., who was killed in World War II. The foundations’ mission was to learn how to prevent mental retardation, and to improve society’s treatment of people with mental retardation.

In the 1950’s Eunice and Robert Sargent Shriver came into the picture; two remarkable individuals who dedicated their lives to helping people with disabilities. After discovering that people in the United States with mental disabilities had the greatest unmet needs in all of the nation’s health care delivery systems, they were inspired to start a summer day camp for 100 mentally disabled adults and children at their home in Rockville, MD.

The day camp was a huge success, and demonstrated that people with mental disabilities could not only participate in a wide range of recreational activities, but that they also enjoyed them tremendously and benefited greatly from the experience. As a result, the foundation awarded more than 80 small grants to organizations throughout the USA, enabling them to create similar day camps in many communities.

Special Olympics Inc. was originally established in December 1968, as a non-profit organization, to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with mental challenges. The program also helps to foster increased understanding and integration of people with mental retardation in the general community. All the money raised in Hawaii stays in Hawaii to establish and maintain programs for the thousands of people with mental disabilities that live throughout the state.

People wishing to support Swing for the Gold golf tournament can choose to become bronze, silver or gold sponsors, or make a regular donation. The last day for sponsorship is July 21st

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