Seattle Storm Launches StormCares, Announces Kick-Off Celebration With Special Olympics Washington

The Special Olympics clinic will take place on Feb. 13 at the Northgate Community Center

SEATTLE – In an effort to showcase franchise community impact in the Puget Sound region, the Seattle Storm today announced its ‘StormCares’ platform, highlighting five initiative pillars anchored in the organization’s focused and intentional efforts in the community.

In celebration of the launch, the Storm will host a Special Olympics Washington Coaches and Training Clinic on Feb. 13 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Northgate Community Center, where both Special Olympics Washington coaches and athletes will receive education and teaching on various drills, teamwork and other basketball sequences. The clinic will include separate training and development sessions for coaches and athletes.

“StormCares is the collective platform we have in place to demonstrate our multiple verticals of community impact,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “In 2017 alone, Storm players took part in over 75 community events, totaling over 225 hours. Through StormCares, we are able to create and sustain lasting community impact in various areas of focus, including youth fitness, women’s health and wellness and education.”

Volunteer coaches play a special role and influence all aspects of Special Olympics Washington. Whether it’s long-term coaching and manager positions, or volunteers who help run the events, the volunteers’ leadership helps influence the Special Olympics community. At this specific clinic, coaches will receive education on: developing a coaching philosophy, finding and researching coaching resources, and organizing a practice plan.

“The backbone of Special Olympics Washington is a community of impact that invests in our mission,” said Joe Hampton, Special Olympics Washington VP of Sports and Community Outreach. “Special Olympics Washington Builds Community and Leads in Wellness through sports and inclusion’ is achievable through programs like ‘StormCares’ who invest in SOWA Sports, wellness initiatives, and our goal to create a more inclusive community. The launch of ‘StormCares’ is an opportunity to continue building a ‘City of Inclusion’, and an investment in the future of Special Olympics Womens Sports and UNIFIED programs.”

First contested in 1968 at the first Special Olympics Games in Chicago, basketball quickly became one of the top sports for Special Olympics Washington. Players of all ages and skillsets participate in the sport that unites communities and helps foster a spirit of inclusion, and basketball is offered in all 16 of Special Olympics Washington’s areas.

StormCares is the centerpiece of the Seattle Storm’s purpose, in which the franchise partners with organizations in the greater Puget Sound region to share core values and strengthen the community. Striving to connect leaders, mentors and role models with the community, StormCares develops life-long healthy habits through empowerment, inclusion and education. Also known as the ‘Starting 5,’ the five pillars of StormCares include: StormAcademy, StormAssist, StormFit, StormUnity and StormWellness.

The StormCares’ user-friendly website includes sign-up details for future events, as well as separate informative pages for each of the five pillars. Fans can now easily donate ‘Ticket 4 Kids,’ and the website also contains pictures and recaps regarding past community service events.

To view the brand-new StormCares website, CLICK HERE.

Celebrating the power in girls and women in the Puget Sound region, StormAcademy featured a variety of events in 2017, including Girls Scout Night, Girls Leadership sessions, and WE Day – an inspirational event at KeyArena where both Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart spoke to a packed house of energetic students at KeyArena.

For the second year, the Storm partnered with King County Library System (KCLS) for its Summer Reading Program, where over 280 students reached the 500-minute level for reading, thus earning two Storm tickets and a Storm-branded certificate of achievement. Over 13,600 tickets were ultimately redeemed, and thanks to the program, more than 9,000 kids and their families attended a Storm game.

To learn more about StormAcademy, CLICK HERE.

The StormAssist pillar allows the Storm to support programs through auction donations, Storm tickets and volunteer opportunities. By making the ‘extra pass,’ StormAssist offers unique experiences and memorable moments, such as ‘3’s for Trees,’ where the Storm partnered with Carter Subaru this past season to plant 247 trees in the Mountains to Sound Greenway.

The Storm’s auction donations engage hundreds of non-profits in Washington each year and include several audiences, from large foundation fundraisers to small parent-teacher organizations seeking to provide a better educational experience for youth.

To learn more about StormAssist, CLICK HERE.

StormFit promotes a healthy lifestyle via on-court camps, clinics and open community practices. In doing so, the pillar helps develop life-long Storm fans, as players and coaches actively teach and encourage youth throughout the Puget Sound region to enjoy the game of basketball.

Through its multiple camps and clinics, as well as the highly successful community practices, the Storm was able to impact hundreds of youth in 2017. The community practices, hosted by SeaTac and Seattle Southside at Tyee High School, allowed Storm fans and children to meet and play basketball with Storm players, Doppler and the Dance Troupe.

To learn more about StormFit, CLICK HERE.

Committed to action around the promotion of equality, inclusion and diversity, the Storm made history in 2017 when it became the first professional sports team to partner with Planned Parenthood. Force 10 Hoops, the ownership group of the Storm, created a night in support of the organization and the services it provides to 2.5 million people across the country.

StormUnity represents the intersection of civic responsibility, social justice and the powerful platform of professional sports, and what could be more powerful than multiple professional teams uniting to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community? In June, the Storm, Seahawks, Mariners, Reign and Sounders came together to make history as the first city in which all pro teams partnered for LGBT.

To learn more about StormUnity, CLICK HERE.

As part of the WNBA, the world’s longest-running women’s professional sports league, the Storm proactivity promotes the health and well-being of women and children. The 2017 campaign was highly successful, especially Breast Health Awareness Night, where the Storm partnered with the Swedish Cancer Institute and raised $11,439 for the Swedish Cancer Institute Patient Assistance Fund – an astounding 53 percent increase from 2016. On this special night, the Storm held a silent online auction, which featured pink jerseys worn by the players in the game vs. Los Angeles on July 8.

During Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017, which was held in Seattle for the first time, the Storm and WNBA partnered with the Austen Everett Foundation to host an Honorary All-Star experience for a child battling cancer, and the Storm also held flu shot clinics, toy drives and blood drives during the season – all for the service, health and education of the community.

To learn more about StormWellness, CLICK HERE.