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On behalf of all SOPA staff, we want to thank you for attending our Annual Leadership Conference from August 25th -26th at the Penn Stater in Thank YouState College, PA.

We hope that you found the conference informative and worthwhile. The primary goal of this conference was to bring volunteers, staff, and athletes together to learn how we can continue to work hard to achieve SOPA goals of over the next year.

We hope that our varied sessions and guest speakers provided insight and practical tools to take back to your programs as you start your Special Olympics year. Your attendance helped to make this event a great success and your interest and positive spirit helped to make our time together both creative and fun.  

***Information on the sessions and presentations can be found on the SOPA website's Leadership Conference page.***


2018 Leadership Conference Save the Date

Watch future Monthly Updates for an upcoming date and location!


Congratulations to the 2017 Hall of Fame and Leadership Award Winners!

Click here to view event photos.

Hall of Fame Athlete

Amanda Reiss - Bethlehem City

Hall of Fame Athlete

Andrew Mayer - Washington County             

Hall of Fame VolunteerWell Done

Joan Arrowood – Bucks County       

Hall of Fame Volunteer

Lawrence Rupert - Clinton County

Coach of the Year

Fran Brett – Montgomery

Female Athlete of the Year

Bobbi Jo Rhen – Lebanon

Male Athlete of the Year

Jeff Parkinson – Northumberland/Snyder

Volunteer of the Year

Dennis Manno – Clinton

Manager of the Year

Terry Stickles – Adams

Program of the Year


Torch Award

Bethlehem City

Congratulations to the Athlete Leadership University Class of 2017!

Click here to view event photos.

  • Ashley Bressler, Columbia/Montour, Global Messenger
  • Daniel Kolb, Chester, Athlete Representative and Global Messenger
  • Nicole Lindsley, Area P, Global Messenger
  • Christa Mereen, Bedford, Global Messenger
  • Jeffery Mican, Area P, Athlete as CoachCongrats Baloons
  • Mary Nigro, Mercer, Athlete Representative
  • Chloe Phillips, Lancaster, Global Messenger
  • Elizabeth Porter, Bradford/Sullivan, Global Messenger
  • Kristine Progin, Lebanon, Athlete Representative
  • Amanda Reiss, Bethlehem, Global Messenger and Athlete as Coach
  • Bobbi Jo Rhen, Lebanon, Athlete Representative
  • Ernest Roundtree, Monroe, Athlete Representative and Global Messenger
  • Michael Silvis, Adams, Athlete Representative, Global Messenger and Athlete as Coach
  • Timothy Spence, Butler, Athlete Representative and Global Messenger
  • Roger Turner, Lycoming, Global Messenger
  • Kelly Unangst, Delaware, Athlete Representative
  • Zachary Williams, Fayette, Global Messenger