Olympics, Moose Fraternity Partnership Is Strong at National
Invitational Softball Event
|Click Photo To Enlarge
|The Moose fraternity is the title sponsor of Special
Olympics softball. In early August, that partnership reached
a new level at the National Invitational Tournament in
Lincoln, NE. The tournament was a test run for the 2010
National Games, which also place in Lincoln.
|On July 31, the eve of the Special Olympics National
Invitational Tournament softball competition, a torch ceremony
took place in Lincoln, NE. The softball competition took
place the same weekend as a national invitational golf
tournament. Both events were test runs for the larger National
Games, which take place in 2010.
|Mooseheart student Heather Zwicky helps a Lincoln police
officer with medal presentations to the Virginia Gobblers,
who won Second Place in the Unified Division.
MOOSEHEART, IL – As the 2010 Special Olympics National Games
edge ever closer, the partnership between the Moose fraternity
and Special Olympics softball becomes ever tighter.
That relationship took a quantum leap forward from July 31-Aug.
3 when Lincoln, NE hosted the National Invitational Golf and
For the Moose, the softball competition, which took place
at the Fleming Fields diamonds, provided a perfect test event
in anticipation of the 2010 event.
“It was the first time Special Olympics had a National Invitational
Tournament for softball,” Moose International Director of Fraternal
Programs Shawn Baile said. “Softball was part of the national
games in 2006 but this was the first stand-alone national tournament
Baile attended the event with Assistant
Director of Fraternal Programs Chris Ecker. Mooseheart
students Heather Zwicky, Candace Casey, Amber Chandler and
U-Conjay Nelson served as volunteers as were Family Teachers
Tiffany Crump and Faith Kasper.
On the field, 12 teams comprising approximately 160 players
competed for the titles in the tournament, which is sponsored
by the Moose. That sponsorship so far has come to $50,000.
The National Invitational Tournament gave a good indication
for how things might work next year at the National Games,
which take place July 18-23 in Lincoln. The Moose will be the
title sponsor of the softball competition at those Games.
“We found what did and didn’t
work,” Baile said. “When we go to the National Games, we
will know not only what worked but what didn’t and also what
we can do better to make the tournament a success.”
Teams from eight states competed in this year’s tournament.
Not only were they cheered on by their families and Special
Olympics volunteers but also by men and women of the Moose.
“One of the reasons we decided to partner with Special Olympics
was because we had seen how many of our Lodges and Chapters
were supportive of Special Olympics locally or within their
states,” Baile said. “To us is seemed that this was a program
that members wanted to be supportive of, and it was logical
to take that support to the next level. On the weekend, there
was some really good competition. We saw a lot of amazing plays
in the field, with the bat and on the bases.”
Baile said “2010 can’t get here fast enough.” Plans are being
made to bring the 2011 National Invitational Softball tournament
to the Mooseheart campus.
“Representatives from Special Olympics North America will
come to Mooseheart in October 2009 to hold some preliminary
discussions about 2011,” Baile said. “They want to check out
the campus, look at the facilities we have on campus and talk
about what needs to be done for a tournament to take place
Founded in 1913, Mooseheart is supported completely through
private donations - the great majority of which come from the
1.1 million men and women of the Moose fraternal organization,
in more than 1,800 Lodges and 1,600 Chapters located throughout
the U.S. , Canada , Great Britain and Bermuda . Moose International
headquarters is located on the Mooseheart campus.
Since its founding, Mooseheart has operated a complete, accredited
kindergarten-through-high-school academic program, plus art,
music, vocational training and interscholastic sports. It is
an extremely nurturing and student-tailored program, with an
average student-teacher ratio of 12-1.
Mooseheart students who complete their studies with a 3.0
GPA or better (4.0=A) are eligible for up to five years of
annually renewable scholarship funding, covering tuition, room
and board in an amount comparable to that required for an in-state
student at an Illinois public university.
Mooseheart is currently home to nearly 230 students, ranging
in age from preschoolers to high school seniors. Applications
for admission to Mooseheart are considered from any family
whose children are, for whatever reason, lacking a stable home
environment. Mooseheart boasts its own U.S. Post Office and
a fully functioning branch of Fifth Third Bank.
In addition to Mooseheart, Moose International also supports
Moosehaven, a 70-acre retirement community near Jacksonville
, FL founded in 1922; and conducts more than $90 million worth
of community service programs annually.
Founded in 1888, the Moose organization has long offered its
members an opportunity to do good for others while celebrating
life, with family, social, and sporting activities. For more
information on the Moose organization, visit the websites at www.mooseintl.org , www.mooseheart.org., www.moosehaven.org,
or call 630-966-2229.