Special Olympics New York Announces First 50/50 Raffle to Fund State Games for Athletes

Increased Costs & Athlete Participation Drive Need for New Funding Source  

“Take a Chance on Me” Drawing August 1st

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York today announced the launch of its first online 50/50 raffle. Proceeds from the raffle will directly impact the number of athletes able to attend State Fall Games competitions over the next year.

The drawing, which has already exceeded $5,000, will take place August 1, 2023. Fans and supporters can ENTER HERE.

Special Olympics New York spends nearly $1 million annually to offer three State Games competitions for its athletes across the state. As with all the organization’s inclusive year-round programming, the Games are offered at no cost to athletes, families, and caregivers.

“Special Olympics New York has more athletes registered today than it has in decades, and State Games is what they look forward to most throughout the year,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “As costs such as transportation, meals, and facilities continue to increase in today’s economic climate, we are struggling to keep up with our own growth. New funding sources like the raffle will help keep our athletes off the sidelines and in the game.”

In addition to being the highest level of sports competition available for athletes with intellectual disabilities in New York State, the Games offer life-changing health screenings for athletes, reunite them with their peers across the state for two days, and bring communities together in a celebration of inclusion.  

The next round of Special Olympics New York State Games will be held in Glens Falls in October of this year for the fall sports season, in Syracuse in February 2024 for the winter sports season, and in Ithaca in June 2024 for the summer sports season. More than 2,500 athletes and coaches will have attended State Games in 2023. 

The New York State Gaming Commission recently approved Special Olympics New York’s application to hold a 50-50 charitable raffle online, making it one of the first nonprofits to be eligible. The drawing is open to New York state residents. Half of the proceeds will support State Games and half will go to one lucky winner. 

The raffle can be entered at https://bit.ly/nyso5050.