Special Olympics Santa Barbara will host its annual Fired Up for Special Olympics Fundraiser on Saturday, October 21st from 5pm to 10pm at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.
Every October, Santa Barbara City and County Firefighters come together to co-host the Fired Up for Special Olympics Fundraiser. No matter how bad the fire season or how many days on the job, everyone from the Fire Captain to the new recruits show up to selflessly display their support for the Special Olympians of Santa Barbara. Worthy are the local athletes, whose determination and sportsmanship shine through year-round at their Olympic-type trainings, competitions, leadership affairs, and wellness programs all offered through Special Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara.
All eyes are on this year’s Special Olympics Santa Barbara Athlete of the Year, Jessica Simon, who will be honored at this year’s “Fired Up” fundraiser. The 35-year-old Special Olympian is a Global Messenger, Vice President of the Athlete Input Council, assistant coach, employee at Alpha Resource Center, volunteer, advocate, singer, and student at SBCC. This past year was one for the books, when Jessica fearlessly traveled to China to participate in a Special Olympics Play Unified event, took several classes on her way to earn her degree in Teaching Special Education, and nailed several speaking and National Anthem singing opportunities.
When Jessica, who has Down’s syndrome, isn’t competing in tournaments, she can be found participating in women’s marches or speaking at local rallies for people with special needs.
The fundraiser dinner will also celebrate Volunteer of the Year, Kayla Edwards, who has deep roots in community involvement and service. Edwards serves as Santa Barbara Family YMCA’s Associate Membership Services Director, and is a Special Olympics Team Wellness trainer, Golf and Softball coach, Games Management Team member, and sits on the Regional Leadership Committee. From securing facilities to recruiting fellow coaches to fundraising, Kayla has been there.
“We are thrilled to be able to host this event at the historic Carriage Museum this year,” said Gina Carbajal, Regional Director of Special Olympics Santa Barbara. “Special Olympics offers much more to our athletes than an opportunity to exercise — it’s a place for athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete, to show up for their teammates, to learn responsibility and the beauty of community. We look forward to celebrating all of our athletes with the community at this year’s Fired Up Dinner.”
This year’s event will include a silent and live auction, Santa Maria-style barbecue, open wine and beer bars, music and dancing, and inspiring speakers.
Sponsorship opportunities, table purchases and tickets are now available for the Third Annual Fired Up for Special Olympics Fundraiser. Tickets are $75/person, $125/pair, or $600/table which will all go towards supporting the mission of Special Olympics Santa Barbara to enrich the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities and their community through sports, education, and athlete health.
For further information or to purchase tickets, visit: sosc.org/sb/firedup or contact Special Olympics Santa Barbara Regional Director Gina Carbajal at GCarbajal@sosc.org or (805) 884-1516 x 103.
About Special Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara
Special Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara is a nonprofit organization that encourages inclusion, participation, and leadership in athletes with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara offers athletes opportunities to have fun, develop skills, and build self-esteem. Known to be a sports-focused non-profit, Special Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara is currently expanding its local offerings to include Team Wellness, Young Athletes, Global Messenger, and Play Unified programs. In 2018, Special Olympics Santa Barbara aims to build out programming in the Santa Ynez area. All offerings provided by Special Olympics Santa Barbara are free of charge to not only the athletes, but to their families as well. To learn more, become a volunteer, or offer support towards Special Olympics Santa Barbara’s local programming, please visit: www.sosc.org/sb