There were a lot of smiles Monday at the New York State Office Building in Syracuse.

Kayla McKeon, of North Syracuse, learned she'll be representing Team New York at Disney World during the Special Olympics USA Games next year.

"I've been playing with Special Olympics for numerous years, never been able to go to Disney World. It's incredible," she said.

McKeon enjoys a lot of sports, but she'll be competing in bocce — a game she's played for about 20 years.

"I just enjoy the comradery of just being able to play with many friends and just being able to make connections," McKeon said.

That's not the only reason there were so many smiles.

New York state Sen. John Mannion announced $150,000 in state funding will support the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program in the state. It's a welcome boost for Special Olympics officials.

"This is just really a really good shot in the arm to us to just encourage us to keep going, doing what we're doing and doing it well, and getting everyone back together again. They missed us and we certainly missed them," said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman.

It's exciting news for McKeon and the 68,000 athletes across New York state who take part in the organization's year-round activities.