News 2011

Golisano Foundation is Premier Sponsor of Special Olympics New York 2012/2013 Winter Games

More than 850 athletes and coaches from across New York State attended the 2012 State Winter Games on February 10-11 at various venues throughout Rochester. The State Winter Games are one of three annual state games and more than 3,500 total competitions are held each year. Below, top left, Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation, welcomes athletes.

Ann Costello   specialOlympics3

Rochester, New York has been awarded the bid to host the the 2012 and 2013 State Special Olympics Winter Games. Golisano Foundation Director Ann Costello, along with Honorary Chair and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, City of Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards and Special Olympics New York President and CEO Neal Johnson, spoke at the announcement press conference on November 15th at the Monroe County Office Building.

"The Golisano Foundation is excited that Rochester will serve as the host city for the NYS Winter Games and happy to provide financial support along with other generous community sponsors," said Costello. "Special Olympics (SO) and the Golisano Foundation have worked together on a number of programs over the years including: the first-ever regional Healthy Athletes screening initiative; the campaign to end the use of the “R” word; and Young Athletes, a program to introduce young children to the world of sport, with the goal of preparing them for Special Olympics sports training and competition when they get older.

"And now together on the 2012 New York State Winter Games.We have found that SO is an organization not just about sports - although that’s a very important part of who and what they are - but about the power of sport to inspire and change lives.There is a more powerful message beyond the games - the message of acceptance, empowerment and competency.

"For those of you in the community who have never come to a SO competition, I invite you to “Join the Movement, “To become a fan of Unity"... as their slogans goes. Come as a spectator ...come as a volunteer. If you come, I guarantee you’re life will be changed forever. You will be impressed with the sportsmanship, the dedication of athletes and coaches, and the sheer joy that comes from participating in Olympic-style competitions. Let the games begin in Rochester!”

Winter Games is one of three annual state games and more than 3,500 total competitions held each year throughout New York. Nearly 850 athletes and coaches will be at the events from around the state. Volunteers from surrounding communities will be needed to support the event and to fill key roles in support of the Fall Games competitions including:

  • Staff the following sports venues: Nordic skiing & alpine skiing, speed skating & figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing.
  • Set up/break down sports venues, and distribute lunch, and water to athletes and coaches.
  • Support our Opening Ceremonies.
  • Be Fans in the Stands at Opening Ceremonies and at sports venues, cheering the athletes on to victory.

For more information and to register, please download the volunteer registration form from the website at or email Stacy Gioeli at Volunteers can be individuals or groups.

Athletic competition takes place Saturday, February 11th in 6 Olympic-style sports:

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Floor Hockey Team & Skills
  • Snowshoeing
  • Figure Skating
  • Speed Skating

All events free and open to the public.


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