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Elite Special Athletes Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Private Independent Foundations, Professional Athletic Leagues, Sports

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.

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