On May 31, 2012 Special Olympics Arizona recognized Graciela Delgado, a 7th grader at Alta E. Butler School for her Outstanding Citizenship and Community Awareness. Graciela is a great example of the wonderful youth we have in our state and we appreciate … Continue reading →
This high-visibility opportunity will feature a select group of charitable partners and their impact on the community, on the Marriott Marquis Hotel billboard in Times Square. The billboard is expected to generate 1.4 million impressions, daily, based on tourist and commuter foot traffic and social media. The billboard will encourage viewers to connect with Special Olympics via Twitter and other social media channels.
Special Olympics Arizona impacts the lives of more than 13,000 children and adults each year. We work so that we may realize founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s vision: to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities everywhere, and, in turn, transform the lives of everyone they touch – building a better, more accepting world for all of us. The athletes tell us that our programs and events have improved their self-esteem, helped them make new friends, increased their sports skills and made them feel a part of their communities.
In his own words, Special Olympics athlete, Ronny Jones, tells why he loves Special Olympics and basketball: I have liked basketball since I was little when I was shooting around with my Grandma and it was hard to shoot for a while. Then I made my first shot and I told my Grandma that I wanted to play basketball. I felt shy about playing when I was little but now I am more comfortable since I grew up. It helps me to stay in shape and lets me eat more pizza. I play all the positions. I love to shoot the basketball in the hoop a lot so I can make some good points and to pass and rebounding and defense. Sometimes it’s hard to help my teammates get the ball. I play with some players that have a little bit of a hard time with pressure and I work hard to help them stay involved in the game. We call it “Sharing the Love”.
Special Olympics has built up my confidence. It has given me the opportunity to speak publicly and sing the National Anthem for SOAZ in front of thousands of people at our local arena football league game and at the Biltmore Resort for a Breakfast with Champions. I have made many new friends both with and without disabilities by participating in Unified Sports and on the SOAZ Youth Activation Committee. I’ve also met NBA players. My favorites are Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and LeBron James. I wish I could be playing basketball with my favorite NBA players. I wish I could play basketball until I’m 62 years old.
On December 1, 2012 Special Olympics Arizona 2nd annual Be a Fan Gala will be held at the MonteLucia Resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona. This elegant fundraiser will bring together Special Olympic Athletes, Professional Athletes, Local Celebrities Community Leaders and Socially Minded Individuals in support of inclusion for all people. We would love for you to come and support the athletes of Special Olympics Arizona and get the opportunity to mingle with pro athletes such as the event Honorary Chair, Luis Gonzales and many more.
What a great day, Jim Rudow officially accepted the Mountain Area Director Position, and will bring greatly needed program experience and passion to Northern Arizona. Jim will be a great addition to our Area Director Team which consist of Holy Thompson in Coronado, and the rookie of the bunch Lisa Ball in the River Area. Lisa is really off to an exciting start with all of the new programs getting going in Yuma and the other communities.
A BIG thanks goes to Yuma Police Department for their 2nd Annual Yuma Polar Plunge hosted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Arizona! Sgt Clint Norred and Officer Cruz Vidal helped plan the event and raised over 8K this past weekend!
Our 8th Annual Special Olympics Capitol Hill Day in 2012 is Wednesday, February 8, 2012. This year Program participation in Hill Day is as critical as ever. Much is at stake. Because of the tightening of restrictions and mindsets on earmarks, the tone and direction toward smaller government and less spending on services and the corresponding severe cuts to federal budgets in all areas, our message of the importance of federal dollars to support critical services that improve the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities in every community is imperative. This year I will be attending along with an SOAZ Athlete, athlete parent and a Unified Partner. More updates to come…
The “R” word is hurtful! Join Special Olympics in this world-wide movement!
“What’s wrong with “retard”? I can only tell you what it means to me and people like me when we hear it. It means that the rest of you are excluding us from your group. We are something that is not like you and something that none of you would ever want to be. We are something outside the “in” group. We are someone that is not your kind. I want you to know that it hurts to be left out here, alone.”
– Joseph Franklin Stephens, Special Olympics Virginia athlete and Global Messenger