Have you heard of Special Games? It is not the same thing as Special Olympics - it is an all-inclusive event that was developed specifically for the growing number of extremely challenged, uniquely abled kids in our communities. Special Games started in 1978 with two Adaptive Physical Education teachers in Santa Clara County, California: Betty Fairchild and Sue Carr Katra. They were reaching out for a group to help them expand and sponsor the fun and physical event that they had come up with. Enter Walter Chronert, with the Kiwanis Club of Los Altos. Their collaboration allowed even more kids to compete on their own level. Thus, Kiwanis Special Games was formed.
In May 2019, over 1000 kids came to West Valley College in Saratoga for this annual competition. They had obstacle courses, frisbee throws, bean bag tosses, 100-yd dash events and more. They had each other! They had their families, schools and friends. They had an almost equal amount of volunteers - all through Kiwanis Clubs in the Bay Area and their sponsored student leadership clubs. Along with volunteer community members, they all participate in running the event.
The date is set for the 2024 Special Games: April 26 (Friday). Whether you know someone who wants to participate as an athlete, or whether you want to volunteer or simply observe the excitement of the day, it is completely and utterly worthwhile.
The Kiwanis Special Games is an annual event, taking place in May on the first Friday after Mother's Day. It is held on the track at West Valley College, in the spectacular setting of Saratoga, CA, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the edge of Silicon Valley. Volunteers are especially needed on that day to help run each event. Click here to see pictures and fun videos from the past few Special Games.
To become even more involved, think about joining the Club!
“The opening Parade of Athletes is phenomenal! The love and joy that you see & feel makes the world a better place…”
The Kiwanis Special Games Club is unique in that its sole purpose is to organize, plan, expand, market, fundraise and put on this fantastic annual event. The club meets once a month, throughout the year, typically in the evening. If you enjoy helping your community, particularly the special needs youth in Santa Clara County, then send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We represent volunteers and Kiwanis Clubs from San Francisco to Morgan Hill and beyond. We are a unique, single-focus club, with one goal: to make sure that the kids will always have these games to look forward to.
Our current club officers are:
Brian Dahlquist, President
Nancy Pearson, Past President
Russ Williams, Pres-Elect
Nancy Pearson, Sec
Board of Directors: