Partnership with Summer Games Platinum Sponsor Continues to Grow Since Start in 2013
There will be a lot to celebrate when the Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games open at Eastern Kentucky University this year on Friday, June 3. In addition to the accomplishments of the more than 1,000 athletes competing in the Games, Special Olympics Kentucky will be celebrating ten years with Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives as the Platinum Sponsor of the State Summer Games.
When the sponsorship began in 2013, it made Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Co-ops the largest single supporter of the Games. And while that continues to be the case, the partnership has grown well beyond sponsorship of the Summer Games.
In each of the years the Summer Games have been held, Touchstone Energy representatives and often their family members have been a presence as volunteers at the track and field venue, heading up all the awards presentations at the track. They’ve also been involved in Olympic Town – an athlete festival area at the Games – setting up a booth with giveaways and, when weather allowed, bringing the company’s hot air balloon.
In 2018, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy became the official hydration partner of Special Olympics Kentucky, donating several pallets of bottled water each year that the organization uses at the Summer Games and at events throughout the year. Every lunch provided to an athlete coach or volunteer at the Summer Games includes a bottle of water provided by the company. Water not used at Summer Games is used at all other Special Olympics Kentucky competitions and fundraising events.
When the State Summer Games could not be held in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Co-ops maintained its support of Special Olympics Kentucky during the year. They took part in the Salute to Summer Games campaign that filled the void left by the Summer Games, with representatives appearing in the video that closed the campaign. Their sponsorship was converted to a half-year partnership with co-ops being featured at additional Special Olympics events that took place later in the year.
Co-ops also provided the awards signage that is seen throughout the Summer Games, and at other Special Olympics Kentucky competitions.
The now decade-long relationship has been an incredible success story.
“We knew from Day One that our partnership with Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives was going to be something special,” said Special Olympics Kentucky President and CEO Trish Mazzoni. “They immediately embraced everything about not only the Summer Games, but about our program as a whole and what it meant to our athletes and their families. It’s always great to see their group at the track and see how much they enjoy the experience of being a part of the Games. And the way they stuck with us in some really uncertain times underscores their commitment to our athletes. It’s been an incredible experience that we truly value.”
Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy representative Joe Settles says they are looking forward to Year 10.
“Our partnership with Special Olympics Kentucky has been an amazing way for us to demonstrate our commitment to community,” Settles said. “For 10 years, we’ve enjoyed volunteering our time and supporting local athletes at the state Summer Games. We look forward to a wonderful event again this year. We already have more than 50 co-op employees and family members signed up to volunteer. Good luck to all the athletes!”
The Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games will be held June 3-4 this year and will bring together more than 1,000 athletes, nearly 800 coaches and volunteers and thousands of spectators from throughout the state at the largest event on the Special Olympics Kentucky calendar. Athletes compete in Aquatics, Bocce, Soccer, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Track and Field. For the first time since 2019, there will be an Opening Ceremony on the Friday of the Games and competition runs Friday night and Saturday. All events are held at Eastern Kentucky University.
For information about the State Summer Games or about other Games sponsorship opportunities, contact President and CEO Trish Mazzoni at 502-695-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.