2010 Special Olympics USA National Games Begins

USA National Games Special Olympics
Photo: Courtesy of The PGA of America
The PGA of America

Series:

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Next week, a roster of 179 golfers from 39 states will compete at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln, Neb., July 18-23. Golf is one of 13 competitive sports at the USA National Games where nearly 3,000 Special Olympics athletes from across the United States will compete in the largest multi-sport event in the history of Nebraska and one of the largest multi-sport events in the United States during 2010.

Special Olympics golf is part of the worldwide Special Olympics sports movement for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics golfers and Unified partners (for team play), ranging in age from 13- to 73-years old, will compete in one of five levels of competition at the Mahoney Golf Course and Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln.

Olympic-style Opening Ceremonies will be held July 18 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Three competitive golf rounds will be played July 19-21 with awards ceremonies for the golf competition taking place immediately following the final round on July 21.

Special Olympics golf offers five levels of competition for athletes of all abilities. Level I is an individual skills contest, where six golf skills are tested. Level II is an alternate shot team play, where a Special Olympics athlete is paired with a non-Special Olympics partner of more advanced skill for a 9-hole competition. Level III is Unified Sports team play, pairing Special Olympics and Unified partners of similar ability for an 18-hole competition. Levels IV and V are individual stroke-play 9-hole and 18-hole competitions, respectively. Competition for Levels I, III & V will take place at Highlands Golf Course, while Level II & IV competitors will play at Mahoney Golf Course.

Having supported the growth of and development of Special Olympics Golf since it began in 1988, The PGA of America and USGA are providing assistance at the USA National Games with rules officials, tournament administration, and course setup, in addition to financial contributions.

"We are very thankful for all of the assistance from The PGA of America and USGA," said Charles Cooper, CEO and President of the Games. "Without their valuable contributions, this event would not be possible during the week of the Games."

Additionally, The PGA of America and the Nebraska PGA Section will host a Play Golf America Experience - a complimentary clinic for all Special Olympics athletes and spectators featuring PGA Professional expert instruction - on Monday, July 19, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m., at the Special Olympics Sports Experience within Special Olympics Town at the Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln. Just prior to the clinic on July 19, PGA of America Honorary President Brian Whitcomb will present a formal PGA of America proclamation of support to Special Olympics North America at 4:00 p.m. on the Fan Fest stage of Special Olympics Town.

Nebraska Section PGA Professionals will volunteer throughout practice and competitive rounds. During the July 18 practice round, Nebraska Section PGA Professionals will volunteer with final preparations and instruction advice for golfers and, during the three-round golf competition, nearly 30 Nebraska PGA Professionals will volunteer their time as rules officials and tournament operators.

(Player Roster Follows)

About the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games

The 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln, Neb. will showcase and celebrate the Special Olympics movement and athletes from across the United States, while illustrating the power of sports to educate and inform about the true abilities and achievements of people with intellectual disabilities. From July 18-23, 2010, nearly 3,000 athletes will compete in 13 Olympic-style sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 8,000 volunteers and an estimated 15,000 family and friends. In addition to sports, the USA National Games will offer various programs in health, wellness and education. To learn more, please visit www.2010specialolympics.org.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to nearly 3.5 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in places like China and from regions like the Middle East to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.

About The PGA of America

Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry.
By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.

The PGA of America is divided into 41 geographical sections providing a grassroots network to accomplish direct communication with the nation's 27 million amateur golfers. For more information on The PGA, visit www.PGA.com. For more information on the Nebraska PGA Section, visit www.nebraskapga.com.

About the USGA

The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the USA and Mexico. The USGA annually conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open and 10 national amateur championships. It also conducts two state team championships and helps conduct the Walker Cup Match, Curtis Cup Match and World Amateur Team Championships.

The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, maintains a Handicap System® and celebrates the history of the game. Since 1983, the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program has awarded more than $31 million to more than 400 research projects for better turf and a better environment at universities across the country. The USGA also funds an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $65 million over 13 years to programs that bring the game's values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.

(Player Roster Follows)

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Brooks, Special Olympics, 202-824-0237, jdbrooks@specialolympics.org
Sherry Major, The PGA of America, 305-318-5208 or sherrymajor@verizon.net
Pete Kowalski, USGA, 908-234-2300 or pkowalksi@usga.org

The PGA of America, 100 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

Special Olympics 2010 USA National Games - Golf Player Roster

Alabama
Ann Finlen, Age 44, Level 2, Auburn, Ala.
Adam Irvin, Age 21, Level 1, Dothan, Ala.
Anthony Cox, Age 23, Level 1, Irvington, Ala.
Scott Dow, Age 17, Level 2, Madison, Ala.
Brett Butler, Age 21, Level 1, Mobile, Ala.
Jane Cameron, Age 38, Level 1, Montgomery, Ala.
Larry Jernigan, Age 22, Level 1, Saraland, Ala.
*Stephen Finlen, Age 52, Level 2, Easley, S.C.
*Jay Emerson, Age 53, Level 2, Huntsville, Ala.

Alaska
Joseph Pratt, Age 28, Level 3, Wasilla, Alaska
*Rob Enderson, Age 31, Level 3, Wasilla, Alaska

Arkansas
Kirsti Ali Teale, Age 21, Level 1, Greenwood, Ark.
Mark Munholland, Age 50, Level 4, North Little Rock, Ark.
*David Van Bebber, Age 54, Level 2, Ark.
Thomas W. Van Bebber, Age 20, Level 2, Ark.

California (Southern)
Arturo Cano, Age 31, Level 4, Newhall, Calif.

Connecticut
Shawn Reilly, Age 19, Level 1, Milford, Conn.
Wesley Williams, Age 38, Level 4, Mystic, Conn.
David Dennin, Age 34, Level 5, Trumbull, Conn.
Michael Hedrick, Age 25, Level 5, Trumbull, Conn.
Melissa Bailey, Age 29, Level 1, Unionville, Conn.
Debra Gozzo, Age 47, Level 1, W. Hartford, Conn.
Kenneth Martin Richter, Age 44, Level 1, W. Hartford, Conn.
Joel Kelleher, Age 22, Level 4, Willimantic, Conn.

Florida
Kyle Muzina, Age 27, Level 5, Homasassa, Fla.
Patrick Gardner, Age 16, Level 1, Jupiter, Fla.
Brad C. Davis, Age 30, Level 2, Lantana, Fla.
Linda Scott, Age 61, Level 1, Naples, Fla.
Donald Singleton, Age 41, Level 3, Orlando, Fla.
Lori L. Thomas, Age 34, Level 2, Orlando, Fla.
David Bornemann, Age 17, Level 3, Viera, Fla.
*Cindy R. Dropeski, Age 50, Level 3, Melbourne, Fla.
*Tonya J. Snodgrass, Age 50, Level 3, Melbourne, Fla.
*Stephen Jerome Thomas, Age 62, Level 2, Orlando, Fla.
*Ronald George, Age 69, Level 2, Greenacres, Fla.

Idaho
Adina Marie Watkins, Age 25, Level 4, Idaho
Ryan H. Ransom, Age 24, Level 4, Idaho
Trevor Anthony Kirsebom, Age 21, Level 4, Idaho

Illinois
Sean Joseph Hurley, Age 38, Level 4, Chicago, Ill.
Katelyn Marie Sicinski, Age 24, Level 4, New Lenox, Ill.
Christopher Rinaldi, Age 30, Level 3, Roselle, Ill.
*Roy Rinaldi, Age 66, Level 3, Elgin, Ill.

Indiana
Andrea M. Boling, Age 34, Level 4, Boonville, Ind.
*Michael Shames-Yeakel, Age 58, Level 3, Crown Point, Ind.
Bobby R. Hilbert, Age 52, Level 4, Jeffersonville, Ind.
Jason Evans, Age 40, Level 3, Jeffersonville, Ind.
Robert Church, age 40, Level 3, Schererville, Ind.
*Mike Burke, Age 26, Level 3, Ind.

Iowa
Matt McHugh, Age 37, Level 4, Davenport, Iowa
Paul Pritts, Age 27, Level 4, Estherville, Iowa

Kansas
Casey Leatherwood, Age 34, Level 4, Cimarron, Kan.
Ezekiel Minden, Age 24, Level 4, Olathe, Kan.
Blake Docking, Age 27, Level 4, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Patrick Brown, Age 22, Level 4, Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Kentucky
Christy Nicole Farwell, Age 24, Level 5, Alexandria, Ky.
Jeremy Thompson, Age 21, Level 2, Lexington, Ky.
*Kevin M. Parnell, Age 41, Level 2, Centerville, Ohio

Louisiana
Josh Parks, Age 17, Level 3, Benton, La.
Marguerite Miller, Age 55, Level 4, Pineville, La.
Joel Murray, Age 29, Level 5, West Monroe, La.
*Billy Parks, Age 53, Level 3, La.

Maine
Travis Curtis, Age 21, Level 5, Carmel, Maine
Matthew Rausch, Age 22, Level 4, Ellsworth, Maine
Trent Paradis, Age 23, Level 2, Lewiston, Maine
*Duane Hall, Age 43, Level 2, Brewer, Maine

Massachusetts
Michael Ciociolo, Age 24, Level 2, Holden, Mass.
Scott C. Merrill, Age 50, Level 4, Minot, Mass.
Tyler Lagasse, Age 23, Level 5, Tyngsboro, Mass.
Jeffrey Bramley, Age 66, Level 3, Westborough, Mass.
*James Ciociolo, Age 25, Level 2, Holden, Mass.
*George Kent, Age 56, Level 3, Hopkinton, Mass.

Michigan
John Muisenga, Age 22, Level 3, Midland, Mich.
Daniel Ristich, Age 30, Level 3, Waterford, Mich.
*Nick Ristich, Age 56, Level 3, Waterford, Mich.
*John Muisenga, Age 46, Level 3, Midland, Mich.

Minnesota
Matthew Copler, Age 21, Level 4, Byron, Minn.
Michael Briddell, Age 48, Level 1, Duluth, Minn.
Kari Larson, Age 27, Level 1, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Aimee Anwiler, Age 25, Level 4, Grand Rapids, Minn.
Michael C. Lawrence, Age 30, Level 4, Maplewood, Minn.
Katie Timmer, Age 35, Level 4, Minneapolis, Minn.
Michael J. Madden, Age 43, Level 4, New Brighton, Minn.
Desiree Greene, Age 36, Level 4, Oakdale, Minn.

Missouri
Shirlene Treadwell, Age 41, Level 2, Columbia, Mo.
Keith Lueckenhoff, Age 36, Level 2, Jefferson City, Mo.
Andrew Martinez, Age 26, Level 2, Kansas City, Mo.
Carolyn Strode, Age 34, Level 1, Kansas City, Mo.
Richard Joseph Scott, Age 28, Level 2, Lees Summit, Mo.
Jason Wright, Age 37, Level 5, Ozark, Mo.
*Ken Neff, Age 51, Level 2, Columbia, Mo.
*Peggy Llewellyn, Age 54, Level 2, Columbia, Mo.
*Gary Wilbers, Age 42, Level 2, Jefferson City, Mo.
*Michael Martinez, Age 54, Level 2, Kansas City, Mo.

*Unified Partner Playing with Special Olympics Athlete

(continued)
Page 2 - Roster 2010 Special Olympics Golf

Montana
Stacey Johnston, Age 43, Level 5, Chester, Mont.
Allen Gotcher, Age 17, Level 4, Eureka, Mont.
John Espinoza, Age 33, Level 4, Eureka, Mont.
Jessie Gratz, Age 27, Level 4, Great Falls, Mont.

Nebraska
Erin E. Morgan, Age 38, Level 2, Bellevue, Neb.
David J. Steffan, Age 25, Level 5, Elkhorn, Neb.
Michael Thome, Age 26, Level 2, Papillion, Neb.
Marty Haugen, Age 32, Level 2, South Sioux City, Neb.
*Sandra M. Morgan, Age 63, Level 2, Bellevue, Neb.
*Duane N. Thome, Age 63, Level 2, Papillion, Neb.
*Guillermo "Willy" Solis, Age 53, Level 2, Sioux City, Iowa

New Hampshire
Cathy Woodbury, Age 43, Level 3, Berlin, N.H.
Lauren Gaudette, Age 22, Level 3, Nashua, N.H.
*John Chesnulevich, Age 55, Level 3, N.H.
*Norm Small, Age 58, Level 3, Berlin, N.H.

New Jersey
Christopher Harold, Age 17, Level 2, Freehold, N.J.
*Raymond Harold, Age 48, Level 2, Freehold, N.J.
Tom Azilides, Age 28, Level 4, Northvale, N.J.

New Mexico
Chase Turri, Age 22, Level 4, Alamogordo, N.M.
Ryan A. Sinatra, Age 35, Level 4, Albuquerque, N.M.

North Carolina
Bobby Darrel Vance, Age 35, Level 2, Burlington, N.C.
Alana Willis, Age 33, Level 1, Pinehurst, N.C.
Kelley Ann Burrows, Age 27, Level 1, Raleigh, N.C.
*Doug Bayliff, Age 73, Level 2, N.C.

Ohio
Andrew Gibson, Age 23, Level 4, Warren, Ohio
Eric Safarz, Age 38, Level 5, Medina, Ohio
Michael Porte, Age 31, Level 4, Belleville, Ohio
Tara Nelson, Age 28, Level 3, Hilliard, Ohio
*Jen Edgin, Level 3, Hilliard, Ohio

Oklahoma
Jeffrey McDonald, Age 31, Level 5, Okla.
Joe Pankonin, Age 27, Level 2, Okla.
Kevin Maples, Age 51, Level 5, Okla.
*George Pankonin, Age 58, Level 2, Okla.

Rhode Island
Christopher Lussier, Age 18, Level 2, Cranston, R.I.
William K. Guy, Age 26, Level 1, Greene, R.I.
Kathleen Bamford, Age 52, Level 1, Sorth Kingstown, R.I.
*Alan P. Lussier, Age 52, Level 2, North Smithfield, R.I.

South Carolina
Thomas Jeff Riley, Age 39, Level 3, Beaufort, S.C.
Pearlie Frasier, Age 40, Level 1, Georgetown, S.C.
Christopher McPherson, Age 13, Level 1, Hilton Head, S.C.
James McKenney, Age 18, Level 2, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Scott Rohrer, Age 21, Level 5, York, S.C.
South Carolina (continued)
*Bob O'Connor, Age 59, Level 2, Murrells Inlet, S.C.
*John MacFarland, Age 70, Level 3, St. Helena Island, S.C.

Tennessee
Ben Cavin, Age 22, Level 2, Brighton, Tenn.
Ryan Luck, Age 28, Level 5, Collierville, Tenn.
Keith Kee, Age 34, Level 4, Eads, Tenn.
Shaun Lister, Age 29, Level 2, Greeneville, Tenn.
Andrew Williams, Age 20, Level 5, Hixon, Tenn.
Amy Frazier, Age 48, Level 2, Huntington, W.V.
Clint Blalock, Age 19, Level 3, Lebanon, Tenn.
*Eddy Blalock, Age 45, Level 3, Lebanon, Tenn.
James Ferguson, Age 29, Level 5, Lewisburg, Tenn.
Cody Willis, Age 16, Level 4, Munford, Tenn.
*Joe Willis, Age 50, Level 2, Munford, Tenn.
*Shannon Adams, Age 44, Level 2, Senatobia, Miss.
*Rod Mills, Age 53, Level 2, Whitesburg, Tenn.

Texas
Blaine A. Hardin, Age 24, Level 3, McKinney, Texas
*Dean Morris, Age 63, Level 3, McKinney, Texas
Erika Johnson, Age 23, Level 2, Murphy, Texas
Blair Claghorn, Age 32, Level 5, Woodlands, Texas
Buddy Randall, Age 32, Level 4, Wylie, Texas
Cole Wells, Age 19, Level 1, Wylie, Texas
Elizabeth Crook, Age 20, Level 1, Houston, Texas
Mitchell Andre, Age 18, Level 4, Round Rock, Texas
Stacy Brown, Age 28, Level 2, Spring, Texas
*Wayne Wilbanks, Age 58, Level 2, Sachse, Texas
*Billy Brown, Age 64, Level 2, Spring, Texas

Utah
Shelley Mooney, Age 25, Level 4, Bountiful, Utah
Tim Holt, Age 39, Level 1, St George, Utah
Robert Pugsley, Age 62, Level 4, St. George, Utah

Virginia
Laurie Ann Kehoe, Age 21, Level 1, Arlington, Va.
Grace Anne Braxton, Age 38, Level 5, Fredericksburg, Va.
David Curtin, Age 23, Level 5, Springfield, Va.
*George Fischer, Age 59, Level 2, Suffolk, Va.
*Jada Goodson, Age 15, Level 1, Virginia Beach, Va.
*Harris Fischer, Age 17, Level 2, Suffolk, Va.

Washington
Joel Barber, Age 32, Level 5, Edmonds, Wash.
Kari Claussen, Age 41, Level 4, Edmonds, Wash.

West Virginia
Michael Stanley, Age 29, Level 1, Southside, W.V.

Wisconsin
Ricky Goetzinger, Age 48, Level 4, Caledonia, Minn.
David Owen Mahan, Age 49, Level 4, Jefferson, Wisc.
Terry Schill, Age 32, Level 2, Sheboygan, Wisc.
*Bill Wagner, Level 2, Nekoosa, Wisc.

Wyoming
David Hansen, Age 34, Level 2, Thermopolis, Wyo.
*Frank Toth, Age 56, Level 2, Thermopolis, Wyo.

*Unified Partner Playing with Special Olympics Athlete