A Great Time was Had at Our First Basketball Competition of 2015!

Area 6′s first Basketball Competition of 2015 was held Sunday, January 25 at Goochland High School. All our basketball Athletes, their families and fans had a great time!  Pictures will be posted soon.

Registering for the 2015 Polar Plunge to Benefit SOVA Area 6

We hope you will have a great time plunging with Area 6 and helping us raise funds for the athletic and social opportunities we provide to all our Area Athletes.

Go to www.PolarPlunge.com and select VA BEACH for the Event Location.


On the next page select Register. The next page will give you the option of Registering or Logging in. If you have already registered this year, you can login on this page to go to your home page. This is a different program from last year so you will need a new login and password for this system.

To register so that your fund raising goes to Area 6, first select ‘Join a Team.’ On the page enter “Area 6 On Ice” in the Team Name field, and Tracy (Captain’s First Name) and Cade (Captain’s Last Name). Polar-Plunge-07-Select-Team-Individual-Registration

Polar-Plunge-08-Input-Program-Associated-WithPlease understand if you want the funds to go to Area 6 you must join our team “Area 6 On Ice” OR be sure to select “Area 6″ as the Area you are supporting when prompted.

When joining our team, press the search button. Select a team to join. “Area 6 on Ice” should be the only choice shown. After you select the team, press Next. Note: Do n0t Login with your Facebook Login. Fill out all the information in the form, name, address, etc. Create a username and password for your account (remember these to login in the future) with the new registration system. (We no longer use First Giving, this is a new fund raising site.)

Select a team to join. “Area 6 on Ice” should be the only choice shown. After you select the team, press Next. Note: Do not Login with your Facebook Login. Fill out all the information in the form, name, address, etc. Create a username and password for your account (remember these to login in the future) with the new registration system. (We no longer use First Giving, this is a new fund raising site.) Press Next.

You then pick a fund raising goal. This can be changed at a later date. If you raise at least $100 you receive a t-shirt and you can plunge. The incentives can be seen at http://www.polarplunge.com/View/Page/Incentives If you want to make a donation at this time, put it in the Donation Field. If you do not want to be contacted by SOVA, unselect the boxes under Permission Questions.

Please enter Area 6 under the “What Area progam (if any) are you associated with?  Also your gender, date of birth and age on event day. Select your T-Shirt size in case you raise $100 or more.  Leave Twitter, Law Enforcement and high school empty! (If a High School wants to plunge for Area 6, they can create their own team but must indicate Area 6 or use the Area 6 on Ice.) Champions Together Program does not go to Area 6. At this point, you can add additional registrations or select Next to continue.

You should receive a ‘Ready to Register’ screen with the information you input. Please verify that information is correct. If not, use the previous button and make corrections. Otherwise select Register me. After registering, you can enter your own plea for fund raising. Your page title will say Support with the name you used. Want to edit your page title? If you want to change it, put your prefered Title in the field below. When you are done registering, you can select View My Page or Continue Registration.

When you Continue Registration you can start your fundraising. If you want to skip this part you can select Skip This Part. You can select Start Fundraising if you want to start. If not, you can quit at this point and come back at a later date. You can add an image after you register by logging in and going to Fundraising. You will see a prompt to upload pictures or video. To see your page, go to Home. Your message and any images loaded should appear. To login to your home page at a future time, go to www.polarplunge.com, select Virginia Beach and select Register.

On the next screen you can login using the username and password you set up. If you have any questions you can email or call Tracy Cade 804-314-2144. To Donate to a friend, family member or Athlete that is plunging, enter www.PolarPlunge.com and select “Find a Plunger” from the main page.  Now, send out the link to your Fundraising page to take prespective donars directly to your page. Good Luck!


OB Gates Elementary in Chesterfield – Champions for Area 6 Athletes

The staff at OB Gates Elementary get into the spirit of "Pay to Play"

The staff at OB Gates Elementary get into the spirit of “Pay to Play”

For this school year, OB Gates Elementary School students and staff are presented with a monthly challenge “pay to play”. Students and staff alike are encouraged to pay $1.00 to be donated to Area 6 Special Olympics, for unique privilages each month.  In September the $1.00 donated provided a day to dress as a Pirate or Princess. In October the donations provided a day to dress as your favorite book character. Novembers treat was to wear your camo or tutus or both.  For December it will be a school wide Polar Express event.  Everyone is invited to wear their PJ’s to school and donate their $1.00 to Area 6.

Students and staff dressed for Pirates and Princesses "Pay to Play" day.

Students and staff dressed for Pirates and Princesses “Pay to Play” day.

O.B. Gates Elementary will continue to fund raise for Special Olympics Virginia Area 6 throughout the school year. They are already working on a special fund raiser, a 5K Run/Walk, that is planned for April 18, 2015 More information will come as we get closer to the date.

Along with their fundraising efforts annually, and as part of National Inclusive Schools Week, O.B. Gates continues to take the opportunity to celebrate all differences in our school and community.  They had school wide events throughout the week, including Disabilities Awareness Workshops with “hands on” stations. With these stations the student population experienced and better understands a variety of disabilities including visual impairment, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and motor impairment, etc.

Students performing their special rap of "Spread the Word to End the Word"

Students performing their special rap of “Spread the Word to End the Word”

The culminating event was a  school wide performance prepared not only as part of National Inclusive School week but as an effort to continue their commitment to support Project Unify and Spread the Word to End the Word campaigns through Special Olympics International.  As part of the performance, students with Severe Intellectual Disabilities, along with their “Best Buddies,” and the Early Childhood students and their “Mini Buddies,” delivered a collaborative musical number.  Select 5th grade students and Deaf and Hard of Hearing students also performed using sign language to accompany their singing performance.

As a special treat, the OB Gates school anthem “Spread the Word” Rap, an original rap song for the school was rousingly delivered by OB Gates staff.  Below is a link of the music video produced by Special Olympics Virginia showcasing the “Spread the Word” rap that was filmed at the school with 4th graders in 2012.

Published on Mar 16, 2012

“Gates Elementary created a music video featuring students performing an original rap set to music by J. Plunky Branch. Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics to raise awareness about the hurtful effects of the word “retarded” and to encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.This video is part of Gates Elementary’s yearlong participation in Project Unify, which is designed to promote acceptance and awareness of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Also, attached at the bottom of this email is the music file of the Spread the Word Rap.  It was composed and produced by a local rap singer J Plunky Branch who lives in Richmond.  Last year, our students personally designed labels to attach to 1,000 copies which where distributed at the 2013 Special Olympics Winter World Games.”


Attention all Area 6 Alpine Ski Coaches

Special Olympics Ski Coaches MUST COMPLETE THREE DAYS OF COACHES’ TRAINING offered by Wintergreen Adaptive Sports to be eligible to take Athletes to the Mountain.

On-Snow Training Clinics: You must attend 3 full days. You may pick any three of the following dates: December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, of 2014.

There will be no fee to complete the course.

ONLY COACHES THAT ATTEND AND “PASS” THREE DAYS OF TRAINING will be sent a calendar of the days for which they can then request lift tickes and rental equipment. Once a coach receives the calendar they can then send their request directly to Wintergreen.

Please contact Michael Marretti if you have any questions.

Additional Information:

SOVA has coordinated a revised process for the Alpine Ski program at for Bryce Mountain Resort this year…the following changes apply:

There is no longer a calendar of available dates that we are restricted to.

Registered training program (Please complete and submit an RTP)

Coaches should communicate directly with Manfred Lochner in Group Sales at Bryce Resort to request training dates at Bryce. There are no competitions planned at Bryce.

  • All requests should be emailed to groupsales@bryceresort.com (When emailing information; Manfred will send a reply message acknowledging that he has received the information you sent.)
  • You may not request tickets on any of the following holidays (Holiday period December 25, 2014 through January 4, 2015, MLK weekend January 17 thru 19, 2015, President’s weekend February 14 thru February 16, 2015. Saturdays and Sundays will be available during the early season prior Christmas and during the late season beginning February 22, 2015.
  • All Tuesdays and Fridays are very busy with private schools and will be confirmed upon request if possible.
  • You must have a minimum of 15 people in your group when requesting complimentary skiing dates. (This was clarified in emails between myself and Brooke Willard at SOVA she said: (No that is what he would like people to try and accomplish. I am sure you can talk to him about the amount.
  • You must request your skiing dates AT LEAST one week prior to the date you are requesting.
  • If for some reason prior to your arrival you will not need any of the lift tickets you originally requested you must call before arriving and let them know you will not be using all the tickets you requested.

There is a SOVA sanctioned Alpine Ski Competition planned to be held at Wintergreen Resort Feb 9-10, 2015.

State Fall Games – Virginia Beach

And a great time was had by all!

Here are some pictures of our Athletes with their teams. If you have any pictures to add or information on medals and ribbons, please send them to me at web@area6sova.org.


Opening Ceremony for State Fall Games


Powhatan Gold Medal Winners and State Volleyball Champs

Chesterfield Blue Volleyball Team (Not Pictured) won a Gold Medal also.


Chesterfield Community Volleyball Team Won the Bronze Medal


Chesterfield Community Seven on a Side Soccer Team Won a Silver Medal


Chesterfield Community Five on a Side Soccer Team won the Gold Medal


Chesterfield Strikers Bowling Team won 4th Place

In Skating, Guillermo Bonilla and Jeffrey Baskerville won Gold Medals


Our Skating Team Photo


And They’re Off!


Guillermo Bonilla Receives his Gold Medal


Geoffrey Baskerville Receives his Gold Medal


Travis Hunter at the Dance on Saturday Night

Area 6 Basketball Season is Here!

Today at 3pm basketball practice starts for our Goochland Athletes. If you are interested in playing or partnering, please come to the Goochland Recreational Center at 3:00 pm. Please contact Jayne Hancock at Goochland@Area6SOVA.org if you have any questions.

Location Details
Goochland Recreation Center
2748 Dogtown Road
Goochland VA 23063

Powhatan Basketball starts tomorrow, Tuesday, November 11 at 6:30 pm at Pocoh0ntas Middle School. Please come and let us know you would like to play or partner with our Athletes. Please contact Pat Fowler at Powhatan@Area6SOVA.org if you have any questions.

Location Details
Pocahontas Middle School
4290 Anderson Highway
Powhatan VA 23139 US

Chesterfield Community Basketball starts next Monday, November 17 at Swift Creek Middle School at 6pm. November 17 and 24 will be tryouts so we can place our players and partners on teams. You must attend tryouts to join a Special Olympics Area 6 Chesterfield basketball team. Please contact Richard or Karin Koch at SOVA.Chesterfield@verizon.net if you have any questions.

Location Details
Swift Creek Middle School
3700 Old Hundred Road South
Midlothian VA 23112 US



Help our Athletes Compete in the SOVA State Competion this Fall!

Click here to donate to help us send Athletes and Coaches to the SOVA State Fall Competition in Virginia Beach.


2013 Fall Games Opening Ceremony Excitement

Each year the Special Olympics Virginia (SOVA) State Fall Competition is held in Virginia Beach, VA. This is a fun time for our Area 6 Athletes as they compete in bowling, volleyball, soccer, bocce and other sports, and enjoy the Virginia Beach atmosphere. SOVA Area 6, including Chesterfield, Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent and Amelia, is one of the largest SOVA local Areas and we just keep growing. Please help us to raise the funds necessary to transport and house our Athletes for the State Competition weekend. The cost to cover an Athlete for the weekend is just $60 and provides them with housing, food, competition, fun and an experience they never forget. We are also raising funds here to provide the transportation to the State Competition as our transportation costs have risen 300% this year.

The Area 6 Soccer Team Ready to Play!

The Area 6 Soccer Team Ready to Play!

Just click on the link and you can help send our Athletes to Virginia Beach in November 2014. While we will have some help through grants and scholarships, we are hoping to send 177 Athletes, coaches and chaperones this year, an increase over the 155 we sent last year. Thank you so much for helping us. All our Athletes and Volunteers greatly appreciate your kindness.


Good Friends from Area 6 at the 2013 Fall Competition Soccer Tournament

Just click here to help us send Athletes and coaches to the 2014 SOVA Fall State Competiton.
If you would rather send a check by mail, please make out the check to SOVA Area 6 and send it to:

Special Olympics Virginia Area 6
3212 Skipwith Road Suite 100
Richmond, VA 23294-4413


Roller Skating Competition at 2013 SOVA Fall Games



Passing of Several of our Special Olympics Family

This summer has been filled with the passing of several of our Special Olympics family.  We want to extend our sympathies to the families of the following:

Mary Beth Simmons –  An Athlete that participated with us in bowling. She was a graduate of Monacan High School.

Tim Taylor – Tim was a volunteer in basketball and softball. He took part in the Polar Plunge each year and was instrumental in starting the Annual Kustom Kar Show which benefits Special Olympics Area 6. He was the fiancé of Michelle Shores and the father of Khloe Taylor.

Anthony Varuolo Sr. – Tony, the father of Athlete Anthony Junior, was a partner in softball. He also helped coach soccer, basketball and softball.

Dorothy Kitts – She was the mother of Mark Kitts. Mark is a Chesterfield County bus driver that has transported our athletes to tournaments and special events and always goes the extra mile to help whenever possible.

Our hearts and prayers go out these Special Olympics families during these difficult times.

Special Olympics Virginia 2014 Summer Games – An Athlete’s Story

The Special Olympics Virginia 2014 Summer Games were held in Richmond on June 6 – 8 this year. The swimming competition provided one or our Athletes and his family a very special time. The usual schedule of events this year was altered from the preliminaries on Friday and racing on Saturday, to races on both Friday and Saturday. Although the events of Friday ran longer than what SOVA expected, and arriving on time for opening ceremonies that night was a concern for all coaches, it had its purpose. This purpose was to shorten the event time for Saturday, opening a nice amount of time for all swimming Athletes to be able to attend Olympic Town as well as participate in the Healthy Athletes Program. This was the first time in a very long time that Matthew Annechini’s mom was able to take him to these offerings.

For Susan Annechini, a parent who has worked with Mat one-on-one for 15 years in the swimming pool, Mat’s performance in the pool this time around was truly a joyous accomplishment. Since his start in 1999, Susan has had the pleasure of watching one of his peers Peter Zaino, an accomplished SOVA swimmer; perform the most beautiful butterfly stroke. She always thought how wonderful it would be to see Mat do the same. Due to Mat being blind and unable to put his head underwater in order to keep his ears from filling up with water, and his not being able to hear at all, the mechanics of a “pretty” butterfly have eluded him.

Up until this year, Mat has required his mother to swim in front of him clicking a sound device in order to get him from the start wall to the finish wall of a race. He has struggled for years keeping the technical aspects of the stroke together in order to not be disqualified. This year Mat and his mom worked on a technique that would possibly allow Mat to swim the butterfly in competition independently. This “way” has never been seen in the SOVA arena before, and they were taking a chance on using it the games this year.

At the games this year, Mat raced side by side with Peter in the butterfly. Not only did he swim side by side with Peter, but completed the race without any sound assistance. Not only did Mat accomplish swimming the race independently, he executed the most beautiful butterfly stroke she has ever seen him swim, EVER! As Mat touched the wall the tears started. When awards were presented to Mat and Peter, they stood side by side, arm in arm, smiling with the true sense of the Special Olympic Spirit.

So if you see Mat out there swimming in a meet, congratulate him for all the hard work he has put in and a job well done! Mat’s efforts and those of his mom embody what Special Olympics is all about. As a side note, Mat also plays basketball with his Chesterfield team each year, with the assistance of his mom as needed. Without Special Olympics and a dedicated mom, Mat would miss the opportunity to compete in athletic events and become part of a team that provides him with support and friendship. We love being a part of Special Olympics!

We are Headed to the SOVA Summer Games June 6 and 7!

This June 6-7, more than 1,300 athletes from all over Virginia will travel to Richmond to go for the gold at Summer Games in bocce, bowling, track & field, swimming, tennis, and softball competitions – and they need fans! SOVA Area 6 has many Athletes and Unified Partners taking part in the SOVA Summer Games based out of the University of Richmond on June 6 and 7, 2014. Listed here are our Athletes and Partners that will be competing in the games. We invite all interested parties that are not part of the Area 6 Delegation to come out and Cheer on our Athletes.

Head of Delegation (HOD) for Area 6 for the Summer Games is Michael Marretti.

Athletes competing in Aquatics include Kristen Hughs, Lauren Stokes, Keith Goode, Matthew Annechini, Jennifer Post, Casey Flaccomoio, Greg Gorman, Paul Marretti, Kristin Geyer, Robert Stowers, Kisha Williams, Peter Zaino, Jimmy Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Stephen Solomon, Nick Zweerink, Sam Parrish, Chip Gunter, Anne “Beth” Edwards, Sheryl Beggs, and Jonathan Koch. The Aquatics Coaches and Chaperones assisting our Athletes are Sue Annechini, Sam Parrish, Harry Hancock, Sally Jenkins, Kay Goode, Antral Griulo, and Karin Koch.

Competing in Athletics are Area 6 Athletes Isaac Schiling, Hugh Stevens, Derek Vincent, Sarah Buser, Leander Spencer, Shea Zatkulak, Kesari Henderson, Peter Fisher, Isaiah Morgan, Abigail Reed, Colleen Carfrey, Mary-Ellen Plott, Tyrell Green, Nicholas Marcucci, Geoffrey Baskerville, Renee Anderson, William Sands, Alex Hernandez, Steven Morris, David Johnson, Alex Chavez, Logan Crowe, Stephen Patton, Jacob Rogers, Seth Rogers, Craig Licorish, Tommy Harrison, Lea McNinch, Lilly Kuhn, Guillermo Bonilla, Brent Blackburn, Amanda Nimmons, Veronica Maggard, Ryan Price, Caleb Samuels, Patrick Baird, Destiny Davis, Isaac Williams, Larry Tinsley, Dylan Whited, Emmalie Villanueva, Taylor Jefferson, Donte Johnson, Hope Garner, Mark Boone, Destiny Hill, Shakiara Gaines, Danielle Bell, Natalya Robinson, Emily Morrissey, Immanuel Taylor, Aaron Wyatt, Alexis Hayes, Cameron Gisher, Dondre Tucker, Shayla Seward, and Clarence Pickens. The Athletics coaches and chaperones are Sharon Walton, Samantha Spencer, Monica Bell, George Baskerville, Monique Tinsley, Frank Tinsley, Pierre Marcucci, Karol Fisher, Nancy Bowles, Sandra McNinch, Holly Reed, Isiah Williams, Romona Taylor, Angie Blackburn, Katherine Spencer, Dan Morrissey, Maria Nino, Kristin Morrissey, Pete Fisher, Trijay Vincent, Paul Spencer, Jessica Lewis, Robin McClaine, Anne Schlicher, Jessica Tayloer, Anita Schilling, Marjorie Loya, Sara Meade, and James Hope.

Area 6 Athletes competing in Bocce at the Summer Games include Scott Woodfin, Michael Hauser and Rachel Hope. Bocce coaches and chaperones include Christine Hopkins, Brad Jackson, and Jayne Hancock.

Competing in the Bowling Singles for Area 6 are Cornelia Dewitt, Justin Poythress, Kristen Marshall, Benjamin Cunningham, Nate Smith, Mary Davis, Ernesto Gonzalez, Jeremy Burell, Cathy Christian, Stuart Adams, Cathy Pitts- Sledge, Brook Kelly, Zachary van, Jacob Bennette, Crystal Fowler, Franklin Anderson, David Ramon, Kenny Hatfield, James Smith, Kelvin Pace, Thomas Anderson, Lisa Papendorp, Dianna Tate, Tyler Pitts, Wade May, Kathy Woolney, Rodney Vest, Joe King, Michael Lee, and Debra Hubley. Bowling Singles coaches and chaperones include Maria Schisa, Pat Fowler, Cindi Anderson, Rhonda Marshall, and Pam Goode.

Our Area 6 Softball competitors include Athletes and Partners Travis Hunter, Brian King, Anthony Varuolo, Alyssa Smith, Christopher Brennan, Michael Marshall, Kaitlyn Redding, David Witt, Gene Wooden, Oscar Turner, Dennis Wayne Haley, Andy Parada, Charles Ashley, Ashley Wattie, Joe Christian, Kyle Roberts, Khori Cooke, Brad Romano, Ben Revette, Ja’Von Chalkley, Wesley Warnick, Adam Smith, Kenny Holloway, Chelsea Gaughran, Tony Shores, Nicholas Glass, Lacotta Edge, Sydney Jones, Roxanna Ronquillo, Travis Turner, Tom Giles, Deion Gilbert, Eric Quarles, Tyrine Garner, Brian Blackburn, Shaun Smith, Jasmin Goodwyn, Gary Conner, Julie Bourgeois, Jason Myers, Marvin Connor, Mikayla Smith, Victoria Dryer, David Grup, Debra Goodwyn, Kaden Anderson, Sharon Mabry, Bob Warnick, Neil Hunter, David Menk, David Mabry, Matthew Witt, Gray Hunter, Lauren Howe, Michelle Myers, Daryl Smith, Zachery Marshall, Marissa Mabry, Richard Koch, and Tony Varuolo. Our Softball coaches and chaperones are Thomas Zahler, Liz Revette, Michelle Shores, Wallace Blackburn, Tracy Cade, Bob Parada, and Kenny Witt.

We have two Athletes competing in Tennis and they are Jessica Campbell and Hunter Stallworth. Our Tennis Coaches and Chaperones are Brenda Campbell and Bob Stallworth.

Come out and Volunteer to Cheer our Athletes at Summer Games: June 6-7 in Richmond Join the crowd and sign up to Volunteer to Cheer at volunteer2cheer.com. We’ve got spirit, how ’bout you? Help us reach our goal of packing the stands with 2,000 fans for our athletes. All ages are welcome to this free family-friendly event!

Find our schedule and sign up at volunteer2cheer.com to be a fan at any of the locations below:

University of Richmond: track & field, tennis
Collegiate School Aquatics Center: swimming
J.R. Tucker High School: powerlifting
Glen Allen Softball Complex: softball