Area 12 Special Olympics will celebrate Shriver Day Saturday

On September 27, 2014, Arkansas will participate in Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day, the fifth annual worldwide celebration in memory of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics movement and a leading international advocate for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Arkansas Area 12 will sponsor an awareness event with bracelets and key chains given to the first 500 spectators through the gates at the University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevil football game which is set to kickoff at 6 PM.

In proclaiming global Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day, Janet Froetscher, CEO of Special Olympics said, “Today, we celebrate the legacy of an extraordinary leader who was a champion for people with intellectual disabilities all over the world. Furious at their exclusion from society nearly 50 years ago, she had a vision that sports could build confidence and skills. And, that sports could demonstrate to the world the abundance of talents of people with intellectual disabilities and connect them into society. She founded Special Olympics as a vehicle to make that happen. Her legacy is the important work Special Olympics does every day – through sports, health services, education, and changing policy and attitudes. Let us appropriately honor her legacy by joining together in sports, in communities across the country, people with and without intellectual disabilities playing on teams together, playing unified!”

Special Olympics Arkansas Area 12 directors Ked Donham and Tierra Stewart will be on hand throughout the day to answer any questions about getting involved in Special Olympics Arkansas whether you be an athlete, coach, family member or volunteer. Special Olympics Arkansas Area 12 includes Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Cleveland, Dallas, Desha, and Drew counties in southeast Arkansas.

<strong>About Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day</strong>

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day is an annual celebration of her life and a global call challenging everyone to Play Unified, Speak Unified, and Live Unified. This invitation stems from Mrs. Shriver’s teaching that on the playing field, we forget about our differences and recognize our mutual humanity. On EKS Day, we invite you to join us in playing unified and teaching the world to live unified. As founder of Special Olympics and executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a leader in the worldwide struggle to improve and enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities for more than five decades. Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s actions helped open the minds of all people to the gifts and talents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She believed in their possibilities, which fuel hope in all of us to make a difference. Eunice Kennedy Shriver demonstrated an unrelenting indomitable spirit in action that one person could make a difference and change the world. Her lasting legacy must be our continued commitment to improve and transform the lives of the 200 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities who still live with diminished opportunities and social disrespect, and are often neglected and hidden away. Visit www.eksday.org and www.eunicekennedyshriver.org to learn more.

<strong>About Special Olympics Arkansas</strong>

Special Olympics Arkansas supports 14,000 athletes across the state that compete and train year-round in 20 different Olympic-type sports. In addition to their 240 competitions throughout the state, Special Olympics offers programming in education and health and wellness. For more information about Special Olympics Arkansas, visit www.specialolympicsarkansas.org.

The vision of Special Olympics Arkansas is to transform communities by changing lives through sports.

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