Island Air Partners With Special Olympics for Training on Lāna‘i
By Maui Now Staff
Island Air announced that it is teaming up with Special Olympics Hawai‘i to support the organization’s upcoming games this year.
Company executives say the sponsorship of Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s Lāna‘i program will provide local athletes with the opportunity to train and compete in Special Olympics for the first time since 2006.
Maui resident and Special Olympics Coach, Dylan Bode, will be flown to and from Lāna‘i in preparation for the upcoming Holiday Classic in November as part of the partnership. During his visits, Bode will recruit and coach weekly bocce practices to prepare Special Olympic athletes on the island for competition.
Island Air employee Susan Wadas and son Michael Wadas have also volunteered to assist Bode with recruiting, practices and coaching responsibilities.
“The fantastic support from Island Air has created an opportunity for our athletes to overcome their challenges on the field and in life,” said said Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawai‘i President and chief executive officer in a joint press release. “The cost of transporting athletes and coaches from neighbor islands to competitions can sometimes be cost prohibitive, and the funding and support of companies like Island Air is truly critical to our work and mission,” she said.
Island Air chief executive officer Paul Case also commented saying, “We are privileged and excited to be working with Special Olympics Hawai‘i to expand their mission and reach into the community, and also the opportunity for Island Air employees to get involved and give back.”
Organization executives say the partnership allows Special Olympics Hawaiʻi to extend its mission of providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.