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Games For Physically Challenged To Be Hosted Again By Nassau

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was joined by dozens of private sector sponsors and athletes on April 4 to announce that Nassau County will host the Games for the Physically Challenged, as it did last year.

The 2012 Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged will take place from May 31 through June 2 at Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College. Athletes will compete in track, field, slalom, archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis. Participants, ranging from ages 5 to 21, face disabilities including blindness, visual impairment, deaf, hearing impairment, spinal cord injury, amputees and those who have cerebral palsy, dwarfism and other physical challenges.

“The young student athletes who are able to participate in the weekend of events are truly inspirational to watch,” Mangano said. “As you see them cross the finish line, you see the smiles on their faces and tears of joy in their eyes. For one weekend, they get to compete with their friends from across New York State, share their stories and continue to build long lasting friendships.”

NBTY Helping Hands Charity, a non profit corporation formed by NBTY, Inc. a leading manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements worldwide, has committed to being the event sponsor of the games for 2012. Their generous donation of $50,000 will have a significant impact on providing a memorable weekend of events for the physically challenged student athletes participating in the Games.

“NBTY Helping Hands is very honored to once again have the opportunity to support the Victory Challenge Games,” Michael Oliveri of NBTY Helping Hands said. “We are sure that this year’s games will be a success as evident by the winning smiles from all who participate in this great event.”

In its 28th year of competition, the games will take place in part due to contributions from King Kullen, longtime sponsor of helping to feed the athletes during the games, while Hofstra University has committed to housing them with only minimal costs for maintenance.

Nassau Community College is the venue hosting swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis events as well as the closing ceremonies. NUMC has shown their support by providing medical assistance with staff and volunteers in the past and will continue in 2012.

Martin Elias of the Ike, Molly and Steven Elias Foundation was in attendance and presented the county executive with a silver medal sponsorship of $10,000. T.J. Berger, president of the Little Something Charities, presented Mangano with a $3,583 sponsorship check. The Bussani Mobility Team also presented Mangano with a sponsorship check of $5,000.

The cost of participation is free and the number of athletes increases each year, now boasting over 1,000. The dedication brought forth by the parents, families, teachers, coaches and volunteers are critical to the success of the games. Operating with a small staff, the games are facilitated by those who return year after year to a program they love.