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Consolidated Communications Seeking Volunteers for SOFF

August 6, 2012 - Consolidated Communications is inviting area residents to volunteer for the upcoming Special Olympics Family Festival (SOFF) on Saturday, Sept. 15, on the grounds of Lake Land College.

This year’s celebration will mark the 29th year for the event, which is sponsored by Consolidated Communications and organized by its employees. Unlike traditional Special Olympic games, SOFF is not a competitive event. SOFF is centered on games and activities in a carnival-type atmosphere for Special Olympian athletes, beginning with opening ceremonies and a parade. There are many games the athletes enjoy, including softball throw, basketball shoot, dunk tank, ring toss, bowling and many others.

When the day begins, each athlete is paired with a volunteer Friend-For-A-Day who serves as their host and accompanies them to games, activities, lunch and other events on the grounds. Each athlete can participate in any of the games or activities and will always be a winner and receive a ribbon or prize.
Area residents have the opportunity to make friends and volunteer for a worthwhile event at the same time at SOFF. Hundreds of volunteers are still needed for this year’s event, said Ryan Walker, chairperson of this year’s SOFF.

"We’re looking for volunteers to help run games, work in registration, serve food or work in many other capacities at SOFF. Our largest need is for volunteers to serve as Friends-For-A-Day. We are expecting almost 900 Special Olympic athletes to attend SOFF, and we need at least one volunteer to serve as a friend for each athlete.”

This year’s event features a patriotic theme – Stars, Stripes and SOFF Forever - that will be carried out throughout the day’s games and activities.
“I encourage our community members to consider spending a day with us at this year’s event as a volunteer.  We often hear that SOFF is just like Christmas for many of our athletes. SOFF is a super event that our athletes look forward to each year and remember for years to come,” Walker said.  “Serving as a SOFF volunteer gives you the opportunity to make memories of your own that will truly last a lifetime.”
The festival is not open to the public. Only those who register as an event volunteer can participate, and all volunteers must be 16 or older. SOFF is also a non-smoking event.
If you’re interested in signing up as a volunteer, please call 1-800-434-SOFF to request a registration card, stop by the Consolidated Communication Center in Mattoon at 1321 Charleston Avenue or visit the company’s Web site at You can also learn more about SOFF and see a video on Facebook at Special Olympics Family Festival.

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