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GNAC SAAC Event Featured in NCAA D3 February Special Olympics Spotlight Poll



Anyone is able to vote
once per day per device!

WINTHROP, Mass. – The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) has been nominated for the NCAA Division III February 2019 Special Olympics Spotlight Poll for its SAAC event held back on December 2 at Emmanuel College. The event featured 26 GNAC SAAC members gathering for meetings prior to an organized Special Olympics Massachusetts kickball activity. 

For more on the December GNAC SAAC volunteering activity, please click HERE.

The story with the highest number of votes on February 25 is the winner. The poll will close at midnight EST. The winning institution/conference will be given $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event and the winning story will also be recognized in the Division III Monthly Newsletter and on the Division III homepage.

The GNAC office encourages its student-athletes to further encourage your administrators, coaches, student-athletes, faculty, staff, local Special Olympics chapter, student body and community to vote for our story. 

Also nominated for the February poll were Vassar hosting a Special Olympic Volleyball Tournament, along with Penn State Altoona SAAC volunteering with Special Olympian bowlers!

The GNAC also had three GNAC SAAC Executive Council members – Albertus Magnus College junior Sabrina Pohlig, Saint Joseph's College of Maine senior Marshall Berninghausen, and Simmons University junior Molly Hennessey – attend the NCAA Convention last night, in which they participated in an organized Division III/Special Olympics activity that included both bocce ball and soccer skills + drills. 

The next GNAC SAAC Forum is scheduled for Sunday, March 24 in East Boston, Mass. 

The Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) initiated the partnership at the 2011 NCAA Convention and officially launched the partnership on August 1, 2011.  The purpose of the partnership is to enhance the lives of Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes through a mutual learning experience; provide a platform for recognition of Special Olympics athletes and Division III student-athletes within their communities; and raise awareness of Special Olympics, its programs and services.

Through this partnership, Division III student-athletes across the country are encouraged to participate in existing Special Olympics events, create their own events, or otherwise serve to support Special Olympics organization. The activities pursued by student-athletes will vary in each state and region, tailored to best utilize the student-athletes' time and local resources.  Service activities with Special Olympic athletes range from unified events to sports clinics to bowling as well as pizza parties or fundraising efforts. 

This partnership provides the opportunity for student-athletes to engage with Special Olympics and collaborate with existing student-led programs on campus.  It also serves as another opportunity to demonstrate the citizenship and comprehensive learning attributes of Division III student-athletes. Student-athletes giving back to their local (and often national and international) communities not only adds to the comprehensive learning component of Division III, but also provides a venue for passion and service

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.