Confederation College Announced as New Partner to the Games

Special Olympics Announces Partnership with Confederation College and Celebrates Draft an Athlete Donation

Special Olympics Announces Partnership with Confederation College and Celebrates Draft an Athlete Donation

THUNDER BAY, ON, October 3, 2019  – Members of the Games Organizing Committee announced an exciting new partnership with Confederation College today. The College’s support of the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020 will be realized through efforts from several of its programs in a variety of capacities. To celebrate the new partnership, the Developmental Service Worker program at Confederation donated $9,000 to draft 18 athletes for the Games.

“Confederation College is a pillar of our community and its support, along with the support of its employees and students, is going to be of great value as we continue our preparations for the Games,” said Barry Streib, Chair of the Games Organizing Committee. “They are setting an important example for organizations to understand that there are several ways to get involved, from fundraising and financial contributions, to in-kind services and volunteerism. We deeply appreciate their commitment to our athletes and the Games.”

Confederation College’s involvement spans from the Culinary Management program’s preparation of athlete lunches and the Police Foundations program’s assistance with Games security, to discussions with several other programs to support Games activities with their functional expertise. Recent sponsorship of the Power of Sport fundraising breakfast with Curt Harnett and participation in the upcoming Kidnapped 4 a Cause fundraiser are examples of the College’s financial and fundraising support.

On behalf of Confederation College, President Kathleen Lynch shared their great pride in being able to play a role in the Games. “Confederation College is honoured to be a partner of the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games,” she said. “We have witnessed the significant and positive impact Special Olympics has on many of our students with learning, social or intellectual challenges in our Community Integration through Cooperative Education program, and on our community in general. I am very pleased that we have been able to find multiple ways to contribute to this event with the help of our employees and students. We call on others in our community to do the same. Our College will follow the lead-up to the Games with great interest and will enthusiastically cheer on all of the athletes as they compete this February.”

To commemorate the partnership, faculty, students and alumni from the Developmental Services Worker program at Confederation announced a contribution of $9,000 to draft 18 athletes for the Games through the Draft an Athlete program. This builds on their previous contribution of $12,000 through the Polar Bear Plunge held in April.

“The 80 students from our program last year came together beautifully in fundraising this impressive total of $21,000 for the Games,” said Julie Zdep, Program Coordinator. “My colleague Linda and I, along with the whole of the Confederation College community, are truly touched by the level of commitment demonstrated by our students in support of Special Olympics athletes. Their efforts have inspired the College and our current DSW cohort to continue embracing the spirit of giving for this important cause.”

Warren Giertuga, lead for the Draft an Athlete program was overwhelmed by the students’ generosity. “These students epitomize the pure heart value that is central to the Games,” he said. “The faculty and students of the DSW program are clear role models for other groups in our community, demonstrating what can be accomplished in working together. We are grateful for their contribution and hope it serves to motivate others in our community to draft an athlete.”

In addition to recognizing the contribution from Confederation College, Geirtuga also announced an upcoming Draft an Athlete event that will assist others in the community to double their impact. Mystery Match Draft Day will be taking place on Thursday, November 21. Individuals and organizations that Draft an Athlete from midnight to 6pm on the 21st will have their donations matched to a maximum of 50 athletes (or $25,000) thanks to a mystery sponsor.

“We are asking our community to take the step in drafting an athlete on that day in particular so we can help even more athletes to participate in the Games,” said Giertuga. “If we succeed in meeting our goal of 50 athletes drafted, we will in fact draft 100 athletes and raise a total of $50,000. Of course, we would love to exceed that goal to help more dreams come true.”

The community is invited to Draft an Athlete on November 21st online, or by bringing cash, cheques or credit cards to The Chanterelle on Park from 5-6pm. Arrangements can be made to pick up donations by contacting Warren Giertuga at or (807) 630-4550.

Those drafting athletes that day are also invited to join Games organizers for a celebration social at The Chanterelle from 5-7pm, where the total will be announced and the mystery sponsor revealed.


For more information about the Games and to volunteer, visit

About The Games

The Special Olympics Canada Winter Games are a multi-sport national event for athletes with an intellectual disability. The Games will be hosted in Thunder Bay, Ontario from February 25 to 29, 2020 and will welcome over 1,200 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across Canada. The Games will include competition in eight official Special Olympics sports: alpine skiing, five-pin bowling, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating. These national games are the qualifying event for athletes to become members of Team Canada attending the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Learn more at

For more information, please contact:

Doug Henry
Games Manager, Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020
Email: or
Phone: (807) 633-1516

Ashleigh Quarrell
Manager, Marketing and Communications, Confederation College
Phone: (807) 475-6565, Cell: (807) 632-5296

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