Six Culver’s Locations to host fundraisers to help Special Olympics Michigan athletes attend the Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games in Korea!

Culver's is proud to host a fundraiser to help their employee, Amy Kaptein and her fellow Special Olympics Michigan athlete Damon Cassese compete at the Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea January 26 to February 6, 2013.

The fundraiser is Thursday, July 19 from 4-9 p.m. at these two Culver's locations:

  • 7393 Cottonwood Drive Jenison, MI (Amy appearance from 4-6:30 p.m.)
  • 3035 West Shore Drive Holland, MI (Amy appearance from 7-9 p.m.)

The fundraiser is Thursday, July 19 from 4-8 p.m. at these four Culver's locations:

  • 4280 Alpine Avenue, Comstock Park (Damon appearance 5-5:30 p.m.)
  • 245 54th Street, Wyoming, MI (Damon appearance 5:50-6:20 p.m.)
  • 2510 East Beltline SE, Grand Rapids, MI (Damon appearance 6:45-7:15 p.m.)
  • 6300 28th Street, Grand Rapids, MI (Damon appearance 7:30-8:00 p.m.)

Culver's will donate 10 percent of the earnings from all locations during the five hour fundraising period to support these athletes in their World Winter Games endeavor!

Mavis Byers, who owns some of the Culver's locations including the Jenison restaurant said, "I just think it is a great opportunity for these two young people. Amy has worked for us for three years. She has such a spark lit in her and is so excited to compete in the World Winter Games! It is so wonderful that we have such great community support! It helps so much."

Amy Kaptein has worked at Culver's in Jenison, Mich. for three years. She works five days a week from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Amy lives in Harmony Homes, a Christian group home for disabled women.
In 2012, Amy competed in cross country skiing for the first time! She had never done it before. Due to the lack of snow, there wasn't a lot of practice time. However, when it came time for the State Winter Games, Amy took home the gold medal! She was then put in for a drawing for the World Olympics in South Korea. On a Tuesday night, mom and dad got the call that she was selected!!

Amy first got involved with Special Olympics 17 years ago. She plays Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Soccer, and Cross Country Skiing. Amy is 26 years old and lives in Jenison, Mich. She keeps busy with special needs bible studies, family activities, and watching sports. She enjoys cheering on the Detroit Tigers, Michigan Wolverines, and Hope College. She also enjoys watching her brother play for Covenant Christian!! Amy is the oldest of five children. She has attended Heritage Christian School, Covenant Christian High School, Jenison Public High School and Hudsonville/Zeeland CBI.

Damon Cassese is from Caledonia. Damon will compete in snowboarding in the Slalom and Giant Slalom. Damon went to his first state competition this year and received two gold medals for snowboarding. He loves to snowboard, but was not very good at it until he received amazing coaching through the Area 11 Special Olympics program. He is so excited to represent Special Olympics Michigan and Team USA as a snowboarder.

Damon began Special Olympics Michigan three years ago. Special Olympics taught him how to be a team player and taught him perseverance. Damon was a person who always quit the teams he was on because he was confused or frustrated. His learning disabilities have led to great anxiety and apprehension in situations with peers and other students. He has had frequent problems with peers bullying him.

Damon was so scared of competing at the State Winter Games in Traverse City this January 2012. This was the first time that he went on a trip without family members and actually had fun! He brought home gold medals for snowboarding. He tells everyone how much fun the trip was!

Damon loves Special Olympics because his friends there never tease him or put him down. He doesn't feel upset or shy when he needs extra time or asks extra questions. Damon is from the Caledonia Community and is proud of where he is from. He will be starting high school this fall in the life skills program. He has dreams and goals of becoming a zoo worker, a vet tech, a lacrosse coach, and pro-snowboarder. Hopefully he has time to see his friends with such a busy career.

For those who cannot make the fundraising event but wish to help support Amy and Damon please go to their online fundraising sites:

Amy Kaptein:

Damon Cassese: