Special Olympics New York Gymnasts & Coach Headed to USA Games as a Result of SEFCU Fundraising Campaign
VIDEO: Local Athletes & Their Coach Surprised with the News Monday
Clifton Park, NY – SEFCU President & CEO Michael Castellana and Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman joined forces Monday to make dreams come true for three local gymnasts and their coach, surprising them with the news that they’re going to compete in the 2022 USA Games, which will be held at Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.
Video of the surprises can be found here.
The group’s invitation to this elite national competition is made possible in part by a recent SEFCU campaign in which the credit union matched every medal won by the USA Olympics team in Tokyo with a donation to Special Olympics New York. The campaign raised nearly $50,000.
During a check presentation at World Class Gymnastics in Clifton Park this morning, Gymnasts Cayleigh Moorhead, 13, of Glenville, Stephanie Hamelink, 21, of Scotia, and their Head Coach Marlene Michels, 50, of Ballston Lake learned of their selections. Gymnast Miles Rosenberry, 17, of Clifton Park, has also been added to Team New York but was unable to attend today’s event. The group joins teammate Izzy Brinkerhoff, 14, of Clifton Park, who was previously announced as a member of the USA Games delegation.
“Knowing that every medal earned by Team USA during the Tokyo games translated into critical funds for Special Olympics New York made America’s success even sweeter. It is a tremendous honor for SEFCU to support the Special Olympics athletes and coaches in New York’s delegation, including those we surprised today,” said Castellana. “While I’m sure Cayleigh, Stephanie, and Marlene will have great success next year in Orlando, seeing their reactions today, and knowing SEFCU was able to support this life-changing moment, makes me feel like we already struck gold.”
“SEFCU has been an incredible friend to Special Olympics New York in recent years, and their recent Olympics campaign really put them over the top. We are so grateful for their ongoing partnership,” said Hengsterman. “Cayleigh, Stephanie, Miles, and Izzy are among the best of the best and, together with their truly game-changing head coach, Marlene, they continue to inspire so many to accept all people as they are. I’m sensing some more medals in our future!”
The Special Olympics New York USA Games delegation will include nearly 200 athletes and coaches competing in 14 sports: Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, Track & Field, and Volleyball. USA Games is scheduled for June 5-12, 2022 at Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. More than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will compete.