BANGOR — In late July and early August, the world’s eyes will turn to London, where the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held.
But closer to home, there’s a group of special athletes that would welcome your help.
The Momentum North Special Olympics team is busy training for its upcoming slate of events. Next up are the Summer Games, to be held June 8-9 at the University of Maine in Orono.
The team is planning a series of fundraisers over the next few months to offset the cost of equipment and uniforms and travel costs, such as food, gas, and lodging while attending competitions.
Team members are currently working on a fundraiser selling Little Caesar products.
Then there’s a block party planned for 4-7 p.m., Friday, July 13. Planned are many events, games and music, with food on sale for a small fee.
Also planned is a fundraising dinner at the Oriental Jade in Bangor in the fall.
Home base for the team is the Momentum office at 28 Gilman Road, Bangor. Regional Director Sandi Macomber explained that Momentum is a private company that operates with state funds from Mainecare for the services provided to each consumer.
Consumers, who are adults with cognitive and-or physical disabilities who don’t want to live in a group-home setting, are referred to Momentum by the Department of Health and Human Services and other state agencies, private case-management agencies, and even family members.
A plan is developed when each client arrives at Momentum.
“We meet with the individual and their team, and the individual decides what he/she wants to achieve in the coming year,” Macomber said. “ We then put their individual goals into a plan, and our professional and experienced staff support, encourage, and teach techniques in an effort to help folks reach their personal goals.”
She added that consumers may be supported at home through shared-living, where a family provides residential support, or they may attend Momentum’s dynamic, adventure-based community support program in Bangor. Some individuals are supported in both shared living and community support through Momentum. Carl Crawford, the community support program administrator, explained that clients take part in activities in which they have shown an interest; this can enrich their lives.
These activities may include gardening with raised beds and building a shed on the Momentum grounds, canoeing, kayaking, woodworking, hiking, biking, framing, Tae Kwon Do, camping, Zumba, bowling leagues, photography, culinary arts, art, and Special Olympics. Individuals also volunteer at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, EMCC daycare, Ronald McDonald House, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Salvation Army, and Bangor Humane Society.
Summer Special Olympic events include softball throw, running long jump, standing long jump, 50-yard dash, 100-yard dash, 200-yard dash, 800 meter, 400 meter, 200 meter, 1K, bocce, 25-meter slalom and wheelchair events.
The emphasis for Momentum is on participation and for folks to gain confidence, fulfillment, growth, and to be part of new and exciting experiences each day, Macomber said.
“Individuals ask to become part of the team and then begin training with the group here at Momentum,” she said. “Others who choose to watch are encouraged to participate or cheer on their team.”
Those wishing to help out the Momentum North team can contact Sandi Macomber or Carl Crawford at 907-4501 or email @momentumme.com.