Albany, NY - Special Olympics State Summer Games will kick off this Friday, June 16, with a parade and cauldron lighting at 8pm at Siena College. Special Olympics will take place June 16-18. During the State Summer Games, more than 1,700 athletes and coaches from across the state will travel to the Capital Region to participate in eight Olympic-style sports.

Siena College will serve as the main host and competition site for the events, with support from Hudson Valley Community College, University at Albany, The Sage Colleges, World Class Gymnastics, Latham, and Spare Time Bowling Alley.

The Summer Games are the largest of two annual state games and 5,048 competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. The games are recruiting volunteers to help with these experiences throughout the entire weekend.

Currently, 560 members of the community have signed up to volunteer during the weekend, including members of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau staff.

"We are honored to volunteer with the Special Olympics Summer Games. Our staff is looking forward to helping these athletes compete and have fun," says Michele Vennard, President and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Good luck to all the athletes and coaches participating this weekend."

The Special Olympics was also the recipient of a $1,500 hospitality grant from the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau Foundation.

About the ACCVB
The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit