Elite Special Athletes Foundation

Rating: 4.96 stars   46 reviews

Issues: Philanthropy, Sports

Location: 1331 Colwyn Dr Schaumburg IL 60194 USA

Mission: STARS Athletics is proud to offer a unique program for individuals with special needs from 4 years of age and up. Specialized training designed especially for individuals with developmental and physical limitations. Designed by a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Personal Trainer and United States Association of Gymnastics Professional, UCA Cheer Professional and ISI/UFSA Skating Professional, the STARS program promises to develop athletes both physically and mentally while maximizing the fun! Recreational programs promise fun, fitness, socialization and a learning opportunity for families to gain an understanding of healthy lifestyles and the opportunities available to those individuals with special needs. The competitive programs are one-of-a-kind programs that offer elite coaching, great facilities and year-round training and competition opportunities to athletes with special needs. Athletes receive superior certified coaching support and have the opportunity to take part in the outstanding peer coach program, outings, clinics, camps, special events, trips and meets and competitions (locally & across the USA). STARS Athletics is home to several Special Olympic World Champions, numerous State and District Champions and many other titles in the sport of special needs gymnastics, cheerleading and figure skating. Superior and above the rest, the STARS are the elite for athletes with special needs. Founder Patty Hermann serves on the Special Olympic International Committee representing the USA in the sport of special needs gymnastics. The goal of the program is to train athletes in both USAG/UCA/ISI skills and Special Olympic routines; therefore, empowering all athletes to reach their highest possible potential both physically and mentally. Education, training, diet, nutrition, fitness, wellness and community involvement are all a part of this unique training program that works to develop athletes as a whole person. STARS Athletics is about more than just gymnastics, cheerleading, figure skating, and strength and power, it’s about getting more, doing more and being more.
Results: Our programs have grown to over 150 athletes this year. We have also added numerous volunteer peer coaches to assist with our programs. We have also added the new program of strength and power. We continue to strive for providing the best programs and opportunities for special needs athletes, that aren't readily available in their communities.
Target demographics: We help Special Needs athletes starting at age 4 and going well into their 20’s.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2003, with the help of her family and friends, Patty founded her own Foundation (ELITE STARS) and works actively to secure funding for over 150 special needs athletes and their peer coaches. Today, the Foundation – ELITE houses a USAG club sanctioned gymnastics team, ISI Figure Skating Team and UCA Competitive Cheer Team and Competitive Dance Team. Continuously raising the bar and creating opportunities for special individuals, Patty has made this her passion. Surrounded by her husband John, son Jake, mother Pat and brother Chris and his family, she has been able to create unique opportunities that enrich the lives of special athletes around the USA and has proudly defied the perception that special people cannot be highly trained competitive athletes. She works tirelessly to provide opportunities and life changing experiences to special needs athletes. Her programs grow every year. These programs create incredible opportunities for these special needs athletes.
Geographic areas served: Our Athletes come from 26 different suburbs in and around the Chicagoland area.
Programs: Unique athletic programs for individuals with special needs. We offer gymnastics, dance, figure skating, cheer and strength and power.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My daughter has been an athlete with the Elite Stars for 3 years now. She looks forward to her time there and never wants to miss a practice. Elite Stars families, Patty, and all the peer coaches really are an extension of our own family. This is so much more than an Athletic organization. There are yearly event happenings that everyone anticipates, like the annual swim party at the coaches house, the Christmas party that has everyone in the house dancing until the place is forced to shut us down. My daughter has many opportunities for growth with the Elite Stars, she travels with her team where she is taught independence and self reliance. The are so many facets to this program and I can't be more grateful that we are able to give my daughter this experience. I would highly recommend anyone that is raising a child with special needs to give Elite Stars a try. It's been said, once an Elite Star, always an Elite Star!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Patty Hermann and the entire Elite Stars staff continue to set the bar high for these challenged athletes and yet show compassion and caring while encouraging them to reach their goals. Our athletes grow as athletes and individuals, learning to be more independent adults along the way.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Patty Hermann's Elite Stars is an incredible organization. Our daughter Diana has been dancing competitively for 4 years now. Diana loves the competitions and talks about the Elite Stars summer camp every year. The Elite Stars coaches continually push the athletes to achieve then push again. My wife and I are shocked with what our daughter can do physically. We never imagined the balance and dexterity she has attained.
Elite Stars not only has competitive dance but gymnastics, ice skating and cheer leading. Diana has made many new friends with coaches and athletes. At the 5 day summer camp (NO Parents Allowed) athletes from all sports and coaches stay at a local hotel, working out every day, then doing various things in the evening, from concerts in the park, to visiting swim parks or special nights to restaurants. This year they went to a Chicago Bandits softball game at night and spent hours with the team during the day.
This organization has been wonderful for Diana. It has filled a void for Diana since graduating high school 8 years ago. She looks forward to her lessons, new routines, meeting new athletes and coaches and is constantly mapping out the competitions once they are announced. Diana keeps up her own calendar to remind us when it is time for class, competitions and especially camp.

We are extremely lucky to live where our daughter can participate with Elite Stars.
Sincerely,
John Filler & Jeanne Vivirto

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter has been in Elite Stars for two years. She absolutely loves it. The coaches and volunteers are wonderful. She learns what it is to be part of a team and work together. And work hard they do! She has learned good food choices, discipline and most of all self esteem. If you put your mind to it you can do anything.
This organization enables their strengths not their disabilities. We are lucky to have such organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am proud to be a fan of the Elite Stars! What a wonderful organization! My sister has been involved with dance and workout sessions! She lovessss it! I enjoy going to the dance competitions and supporting all of the athletes who have practiced so hard. :-) LET'S GO STARS!

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Rating: 4 stars  

Elite Stars is a fantastic! This is our first experience with Elite Stars and we were very pleased with the level of support, and commitment from the dance teachers. This is a great opportunity for your child to meet new friends and to enjoy competitive dance. It's so exciting to see the expression on your childs face when competing and engaging within this program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

My 15 year old son has been an Elite Stars Gymnast in this program for 2 years. He absolutely loves it. The expectation levels are high and the athletes rise to meet the challenges set forth for them. It's a place where individuals with special needs can be appreciated and accepted. I highly recommend this program!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Elite Stars Organization is like no other! High expectations, opportunity, athleticism, competition, fun, fitness, enjoyment, acceptance, friendship and passion are just a few things that are gained by a special needs athlete participating in this extraordinary program. The highlight of the week for my 14 year old son who has Down syndrome is his Elite Stars gymnastics program!

Nate is always trying to keep up with his typically developing peers. This program allows him to shine and feel like a real superstar!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Elite stars special athletes expects of special needs athletics the same commitment, effort, progress, team attitude, striving for personal best, etc. That any athletic organization would expect of its athletes. As a parent of a teenager with Down Syndrome its an absolute pleasure to see this organization expect of my daughter what they would of "normal" athlete. The commitment and time invested by their volunteer coaches is absolutely amazing as well.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have their dance option closer so my daughter could more easily participate :-)

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter with special needs started dancing with the Elite Stars last fall and it has been a wonderful experience ! We had been unable to find this kind of high acheiving dance team before. This has given her the chance to make new friends and be part of a great team! She loves going to dance and is always dancing around the house, she feels proud to be a part of the dance team!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Elite Stars is an amazing organization! Our daughter has participated in the Elite Stars Gymnastics and Cheerleading teams for the past 6 years and then also their Dance Team since it's inception 3 years ago. The Elite Stars is phenomenal and our daughter loves it! They provide exceptional and high caliber training for all the teams. The Elite Stars coaches set the bar high and challenge each and every kid to be the best that they can be. Our son is also a peer coach for the gymnastics team, for the past 2 years. Even though he has a sibling with a disability, peer coaching for the Elite Stars has been a learning experience and one that will help him tremendously in his future. We can't say enough about the Elite Stars teams and how they've helped our family in many ways.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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