Friday, May 25, 2012

Veterans and Military Families Receive Free Ice Cream!

Memorial Day is the last Monday each May and was created to honor Americans who have died in service to our country.  As with many other holidays, sometimes the meaning of the holiday is overshadowed by the sheer joy of having a long weekend to kick back with family and friends… a freedom we wouldn’t likely share if it weren’t for the selfless sacrifices made each year by men and women who have stepped forward to protect what is near and dear to us.  In doing so, many of their families have been left shattered by the loss of time together, the anxiety and strain of combat, and for some the loss of a loved one in the call of duty.

We want to show our appreciation by sending a certificate for a free 56 ounce container of Lovin’ Scoopful to the families of all service men and women, active or veteran.  You qualify if:

·         You, your spouse, one or both parents, or one of your children are in active duty in US Armed Forces

·         Or if you, your spouse, one or both parents, or one of your children have in the past served in a branch of the US Armed Forces and were for some period of time stationed overseas

To sign up for your free ice cream go to and fill in your address and contact information.  This part is very important.  In the open section at the bottom for notes please type either “US Armed Forces active duty” or “US Veteran” plus a brief explanation regarding who served.  An example would be “US Veteran- father served in Vietnam”.  Please feel free to pass along the offer via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or word of mouth. 

The fine print:  Offer ends midnight central time 5/28/2012.  Lovin’ Scoopful is not available in all areas.  Please visit our store finder at to make sure we’re available in your area.  We reserve the right to amend the offer and to not mail certificates into states where Lovin’ Scoopful is not sold.  Offer limited to the first 100 requests.  Only one certificate per household, address, or email address. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Scoop: 2012 Southern Regional Award Winner, Katie Pullano

SOUTHERN REGIONAL WINNER Katie Pullano was nominated by Julie Harrison, but when we began to follow up on Katie we found that she has a “Texas size” fan base.  In the Bedford Texas area you might find that the people she’s had a positive impact on are never much more than a stone's throw away.  This young lady bubbles with personality and her smile is contagious.  Here's what her nominator (Special Olympics Coach, Julie Harrison) had to say about her.

Nominated by Julie Harrison, Special Olympics Coach
Katie uses her voice as a tool to raise awareness and promote equality for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Katie is involved in many extra-curricular activities, but is always ready and available to serve as a Unified Partner or volunteer at a local or state competition. Katie was selected as the 2011 Unified Athlete of the Year for the Special Olympics Texas-Greater Fort Worth Area. On March 7, Katie organized a “Ban the ‘R’ Word” campaign for her school and continues this campaign daily. Through her involvement in school activities Katie is able to spread her mission to many people, both students and staff. Katie politely asked a teacher to quit using the “R” word and provided her with a button and informational pamphlet so she can spread the word to others. Katie has lofty goals, one of which is to speak to Congress. I look forward to the day that I can sit and watch Katie address this group about the importance of acceptance, inclusion, and awareness. She truly is a shining star and will continue to do amazing things for individuals with disabilities.

When we spoke to Katie we found that two incredible Special Olympics athletes, Kalli and Colby, changed her life.  She mentioned that their high spirits, unconditional love, unending compassion, and extreme perseverance through the challenges of having Down Syndrome impacted her life from there on.  Katie participates in Unified Sports, Special Olympics, and has volunteered at a social skills day camp for Hurst-Euless- Bedford ISD the past 3 summers.  The camp is for students with autism.  Katie now plans to pursue a career in teaching / coaching secondary school special needs students.  We’re so proud of you Katie! 

A few words from Katie

       My name is Katie Pullano and I’m a 15 year old freshman who attends Harwood Junior High School in Bedford, Texas.   It was 4 years ago that I met two people who forever changed my life. Kalli and Colby, both very active in Special Olympics swimming as well as many other sports, impressed me from the day I met them. Their high spirits, unconditional love, unending compassion, and extreme perseverance through the challenges of having Down Syndrome impacted me on the pool deck as we prepared for our race. I am a Unified Athlete with Special Olympics Texas-Greater Fort Worth Area and I’ve been very fortunate to have many rewarding opportunities with some amazing athletes. Beyond just having a great time swimming with some inspiring people I found a passion that had previously laid dormant in me. It wasn’t long after starting my volunteer work with Special Olympics that I found my calling; working with children with intellectual disabilities.

Since meeting Kalli and Colby several years ago my relationship with both of them has grown and developed to a strong friendship. Now, there are very few weeks that go by without my world being lit up with Kalli, who I can honestly say is one of my best friends. Through one of my mother’s work friends, Julie Harrison, I have become increasingly more involved with Special Olympics. I have volunteered and cheered at power lifting, cycling, gymnastics, and swimming. The past 3 years I have enjoyed volunteering and participating in our local opening ceremonies for Special Olympic Games. Every time I go to an event, I meet great new people and have valuable new experiences. I was selected as the Greater Fort Worth Area Special Olympics Unified Athlete of the Year in 2010 for my participation with Kalli and Colby’s team.  In addition to my work with Special Olympics, I have volunteered at a social skills day camp for Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD the past 3 summers. This camp is for students with autism and has created unforgettable memories.  I am a friend, model, and supporter to the many students that participate in this program.

Most recently, and possibly most importantly, I have become very active in the Ban the R Word campaign. By hanging up pledge posters in several classrooms, passing out stickers and spreading awareness of the harm in the word “retard,” I helped to create an accepting and loving environment at my school. In the future, I hope to continue my work with the Ban the R Word campaign at my new high school. I hope to become a special education teacher and coach in a secondary school.  I believe that my experiences with Kalli and Colby have helped me define myself as a person. Finally, through my work with Special Olympics, I have made my decision and goal to further the knowledge, awareness and inclusion of children with intellectual disabilities in schools across the country.

If you’re interested in helping some of the non-profits in which Katie is involved, you can use the links below to get more information and/or make a donation!

If you prefer to use US Post, you can send donations to:

Special Olympics Area 11

6707 Brentwood Stair Road, Suite 218

Fort Worth, TX  76112

You can specify that you want the money to stay in Area 11 and even whether you want it to go to Unified Sports or the Special Olympics program in that area.  We encourage you to go online and look at all the great ways you can help!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Scoop: 2012 National Lovin' Compassion Award Winner Calista Pierce

We are so thrilled to have Calista Pierce as our 2012 National Lovin' Compassion Award Winner.  She has such an incredible heart and is an inspiration!  We know you'll adore her as much as we do!  At the end of the posting check out some of the articles written on Calista and find the links to some of the organizations she's helping.
Nominated by Donna Johnston, Special Olympics
Calista has done fundraising for Crawford County Special Olympics since she was 7; at 12 she won The Arc essay contest “See the Possibilities In People with Physical and Mental Challenges”. Since she started has raised over $12,000. for Crawford County Special Olympics. Calista also does kind; generous things for Special Olympics from helping bowlers return their shoes after practice, making bowling picture frames for awards at the bowling awards party to becoming a unified partner in bocce and swimming. She encouraged athletes by helping them learn the sports rules, helps athletes during drill practice by collecting stray balls to make more time for skill practice. Calista truly has a giving heart and a love to serve. She is visible in her community through these tasks. In addition to helping Special Olympics she helps Make A Wish Foundation, Operation Christmas Child, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, food drives for local food pantries, donating teddy bears to the pediatric wards, Macy's Believe!, Pennies for Patients, The Arc Bike/Hike fundraiser, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, Pizza Hut fundraiser for the American Red Cross, “Stuff the Jeep” for care packages to send the soldiers and she has donated 15 inches of her hair to Locks of Love.

Nominated by Carol Caler, Special Olympics
Calista is 12 years old and is in 6th grade. Calista wanted to be a volunteer for Special Olympics when her brother Austin began training and Competing with Crawford County Special Olympics. Austin was 8 and Calista was 5 at that time. She soon realized she was too young to be an "official" volunteer. About the same time she learned that Special Olympics programs had to raise all the monies needed to provide athletes with equipment, uniforms, and travel for the sports trainings and competitions her brother enjoyed. She thought about it and came up with the idea to make and sell crafts and donate the money to Crawford County Special Olympics. with the help of her mother she set up her first craft table at practices and then branched out to community events and locations. Her first goal was to raise $5000.00 which she completed when she was 8 years old. Her next goal was $10,000.00 which she reached at 10 years old. Since then she has created a website where you can track her progress. (She has given up her birthday and Christmas monies to buy supplies for her crafts). Her brother Austin qualifies for Make a Wish, so she has now added this organization to her list of donations. She is now 12 years old and has donated $12,000.00 to Crawford County Special Olympics (her new goal is $15,000.00). Plus she had donated enough monies to Make a wish to grant two wishes to deserving children locally. Each wish needs $3000.00 to be granted. She is now working on her third wish. Calista is also a unified partner for Special Olympics and has championed special education students in her middle school against bullying. Calista is our inspiration and our most hard working volunteer! Crawford County is so blessed to have this amazing girl and her family.

Nominated by Jenifer Pierce, Mother
Calista is determined to make a difference for Special Olympics’ athletes through volunteering, participating in Unified Sports and fundraising. When she was only 7 years old, she heard our local program was low on funding and immediately set to work making crafts to raise much needed funds. She is inspired by her older brother who is a Special Olympics athlete. Throughout the years, we have watched his decrease in strength, but there is always a Special Olympics event for him. To date, Calista has raised over $12,600.00 and volunteered over 3,200 hours! She has been helping to train athletes in bocce and swimming. Her encouraging personality has been an incredible help during competitions when athletes are overwhelmed or exhausted. She is always ready to lend a helping hand and looks forward to becoming an assistant coach when she is 16 and a head coach when she’s 18. As if all of this isn’t enough, Calista has set out to raise enough money to fund wished through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The cost of the average wish is $3,400.00 and Calista recently funded her third wish for a child.

A few words from Calista
     I am involved in Special Olympics as a fundraiser, volunteer and Unified Partner. I am also fundraising for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and am the captain of my own Relay for Life team. I started helping out in Special Olympics when I was 5 years old because my brother is an athlete. When I was 7, I heard the Special Olympics management team talking and they said they didn’t have enough money to take the athletes to regional and state competitions. I know how much my brother loves to go to the competitions and would hate to see him not be able to do something he loves, so I decided to start making crafts to raise money. I also have bake sales and raffles to help raise money. My brother inspires me. He is in a wheelchair and has trouble talking, but he doesn’t let it get him down.
     I have been bullied about my fundraising project, Calista Cares. Some of my friends have completely stopped hanging out with me because I refuse to stop Calista Cares. I overcame that challenge by learning to stick up for myself and what I believe in. I learned to find out who my true friends are and never give up on trying to make a difference.
     So far, I have raised over $12,600.00 for Special Olympics and that has helped make sure that athletes can keep going to competitions. By helping out at Special Olympics, I have learned the rules of bocce and can help train athletes. I also learned how to swim! Our Special Olympics athletes encouraged me to keep trying when I was afraid to swim in the deep end. If it wasn’t for them, I would have never been able to overcome my fear and become a Unified partner for swimming.

     I have just raised enough money to grant my third wish for a child suffering from a life-threatening medical condition through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A little girl named Sophia will be going to Disney World in May before her fourth open heart surgery. This will be my second year having a Relay for Life team. It’s going to be harder this year, though because we will be walking in memory of my great grandpa, instead of in his honor.

Be sure to visit Calista's website at
or her
facebook page at
or her twitter page at

To read more about the work Calista is doing, see these articles:

To help some of the organizations Calista helps, try checking out these pages: