Albertson, N.Y.—Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was joined today by dozens of private sector sponsors to announce that Nassau County will host the Games for the Physically Challenged for the second consecutive year. With the support of private-sector donations, Mangano saved the games in 2011 after learning that New York State had eliminated the funding for the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. Mangano will continue to coordinate and save the games in 2012.
“The young student athletes who are able to participate in the weekend of events are truly inspirational to watch,” County Executive Mangano said. “As you see them cross the finish line, you see the smiles on their faces and tears of joy in their eyes. For one weekend, they get to compete with their friends from across New York State, share their stories and continue to build long-lasting friendships.”
NBTY Helping Hands Charity, a non-profit corporation formed by NBTY, Inc. a leading manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements worldwide, has committed to being the Event Sponsor of the Games for 2012. Their generous donation of $50,000 will have a significant impact on providing a memorable weekend of events for the physically challenged student athletes participating in the Games.
“NBTY Helping Hands is very honored to once again have the opportunity to support the Victory Challenge Games,” Michael Oliveri of NBTY Helping Hands said. “We are sure that this year’s games will be a success as evident by the winning smiles from all who participate in this great event.”
The 2012 Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged will take place from May 31st through June 2nd at Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College. Athletes will compete in track, field, slalom, archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis. Participants ranging from ages 5 to 21 face disabilities including blindness, visually impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, spinal cord injured, amputees and those who have cerebral palsy, dwarfism and other physical challenges.
In its 28th year of competition, the Games will take place in part due to contributions from King Kullen—America’s First Supermarket— who has been a long-time sponsor of helping to feed the athletes, while Hofstra University has committed to housing the athletes with only minimal costs for maintenance. Nassau Community College is the venue hosting swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis events as well as the closing ceremonies. NUMC has shown their support by providing medical assistance with staff and volunteers in the past and will continue in 2012.
“King Kullen is once again proud and honored to be the food sponsor to this year’s Games for the Physically Challenged, a truly wonderful event,” Tony Femminella, Vice President of Store Operations said.
“Nassau Community College is pleased to be the host venue for this year’s Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. The men and women who will participate in these Games have ‘the right stuff’ and demonstrate ‘the true gift’ that will bring a glow of satisfaction to them and a feeling of immense pride to all of us,” Dr. Donald P. Astrab, President of Nassau Community College said.
“The Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged, an event that celebrates diversity and promotes achievement, provide athletes with the opportunity to compete in a statewide arena,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Their courage, spirit, and perseverance are an example to us all, and we at Hofstra are proud to play a small role in keeping alive this important New York State tradition.”
Martin Elias of the Ike, Molly and Steven Elias Foundation was in attendance and presented the County Executive with a Silver Medal Sponsorship of $10,000. T.J. Berger, President of the Little Something Charities, presented Mangano with a $3,583 sponsorship check. The Bussani Mobility Team also presented Mangano with a sponsorship check of $5,000.
“I applaud County Executive Ed Mangano for his efforts to make the Games a success for another year,” Martin Elias of Elias Properties and the Ike, Molly & Steven Foundation said. “The Games are an inspiration to me, my friends and family. I am honored to be a sponsor of this competition and look forward to attending all of different events to see the athletes in action.”
“We at Little Something Charities are happy that we could help in the continuing of these events,” T.J. Berger, President of Little Something Charities said. “Thank you to all of our supporters that helped us raise this money that we were able to present here today. We look forward to seeing how beneficial it all is when these events take place in June.”
The cost of participation is free and the numbers of athletes increase each year, boasting over 1,000. The dedication brought forth by the parents, families, teachers, coaches and volunteers are critical to the success of the Games. Operating with a small staff, the Games are facilitated by those who return year after year to a program they love.
“I challenge the public, on June 1st and June 2nd, to come to Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College to support these student athletes and experience first-hand their joy and triumph,” Mangano said.