GORHAM, Maine – Vote early! Vote Often! Help USM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee earn $500 towards its next Special Olympics event!
Actually, we mean it! You can vote once a day from your desktop, phone and tablet to help the University of Southern Maine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) earn a significant monetary award towards supporting its endeavor with Special Olympics Maine! Voting begins on Monday, December 3 and will conclude on January 25. The story with the most votes will earn the award. Husky supporters can vote each day until the January 25 deadline.
The Huskies' SAAC story, "USM Huskies' SAAC Unified Sports Begins Third Year," is one of three Special Olympics related stories selected for the December/January NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll. In addition to the monetary award, USM's SAAC will be recognized in the Division III Monthly Newsletter and on the NCAA Division III homepage.
Since the 1960s, the University of Southern Maine Department of Athletics has had a relationship with Special Olympics Maine, and its athletes. Over the course of the last three academic years, USM SAAC has advanced and strengthened the relationship with its ongoing Unified Sports Program. Under the direction of SAAC Advisor and women's basketball coach Samantha Allen, Huskies' SAAC expanded its programing to encompass a variety of social events including a Pizza & Patriots Social, a Holiday Cookie Decorating Party, to complement its Special Olympic Sundays – a 90-minute skill, drills and instruction session – hosted weekly at the Costello Sports Complex on the Gorham campus.
USM SAAC and the Huskies' women's and men's basketball programs have also teamed up over the last three seasons to host a "Spread the Word to End the Word" event during a doubleheader game day. The "Spread the World to End the Word" campaign is a national campaign to end the derogatory use of the word retarded in everyday conversation. As part of the event, USM student-athletes compete and help facilitate halftime scrimmages with many of the USM SAAC Unified Sports Program participants.