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DBHDS Press Releases

For Immediate Release:  September 15, 2008

Eastern State Hospital Announces The 28th Annual “Autumn Games”

Event promotes activity and sportsmanship for state hospital residents age 55 and over

Williamsburg – On Thursday, October 9, 2008, the state-run mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse facilities will hold their 28th annual Autumn Games. The event will be held at Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Targeting residents of Virginia’s state facilities over the age of 55, the games help promote an active lifestyle, sportsmanship and pursuit of athletic endeavors. Each facility may bring a team of up to ten participants who will compete in eight events, including a walking relay, T-ball, bowling and basketball.

Facilities from throughout the Commonwealth will be attending, including Central VA Training Center in Lynchburg, Piedmont Geriatric Hospital in Burkeville, Southwestern VA Training Center in Hillsville, Southside VA Training Center in Petersburg, Western State Hospital in Staunton and Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg.

“Individuals with intellectual disabilities experience the same benefits from healthy competition that you or I do,” said Dr. James Reinhard, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. “Being part of a team, receiving affirmation and rising to a challenge can increase self-confidence and create a more positive image in anyone.”

The opening ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m.  Following the games, an award ceremony and reception will be held when all first place winners from the day’s events will receive trophies.  Also, a sportsmanship award will be given to the facility showing the best sportsmanship qualities during the games, and a traveling award will go to the facility that scores the highest points during the day. 

The Autumn Games were established in 1980 as a team competition for the facilities of the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services.  Please contact Kimberly Kopka at Eastern State Hospital, (757) 208-7735 or Lauren Schultz at Eastern State Hospital (757) 253-4700, for further information. 


Available to citizens statewide, Virginia’s public Behavioral Health and Developmental services system is comprised of 40 community services boards (CSBs) and 16 state facilities. DMHMRSAS seeks to promote dignity, choice, recovery, and the highest possible level of participation in work, relationships, and all aspects of community life for individuals with mental health, mental retardation or substance abuse disorders.

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