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Special Olympics Oregon Cancels State Games Competition

Special Olympics Oregon has canceled next month's state competition because of financial problems.

Posted: Jun. 18, 2018 1:05 PM
Updated: Jun. 18, 2018 2:23 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Special Olympics Oregon has canceled next month's state competition because of financial problems.

The organization said Monday the decision was made after an internal financial review that occurred after the hiring of a new chief executive officer and chief financial officer. The organization said it will instead focus on local programs.

The Portland Business Journal reported that Special Olympics Oregon lost $325,000 on $4.5 million in revenue in 2016, the most recent annual report made public.

In addition to existing debt, the organization said there is limited cash available for required pre-payments to vendors for the infrastructure necessary to hold the State Games competition.

Special Olympics Oregon serves more than 14,000 participants with intellectual disabilities. About 1,500 had been expected to take part in the state competition. (end AP article)

Prior to the recent change in leadership, the financial accounting for Special Olympics Oregon was disorganized and innacurate, according to new Chief Financial Officer Lori Van Dyke. While the organization had accurately accounted for 2018 expenses and debts, previous personnel had overestimated their income.

“Once we opened the books, we found significant challenges facing the organization,” Van Dyke said. “In recent years, record management, processes and accounting practices were not well maintained.”

The 44 people who make up Team Oregon will still head to the 2018 USA Games in Seattle this July.

“This difficult decision is the right one, made with the support of the Board and Special Olympics North America, and done with a focus on the future of our athletes and long-term mission,” said new Chief Executive Officer Britt Carlson Oase. “We will need the help of our partners and supporters as we move forward and they have my commitment to making it happen. We have a constituency that is counting on us to get this right."

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