Eunice Kennedy Shriver Legacy Honored Globally on September 25thBy Special Olympics, PRNE
Sunday, August 8, 2010
WASHINGTON, August 9, 2010 - One year ago this Wednesday, August 11th, the visionary Eunice Kennedy
Shriver, Special Olympics International founder, Best Buddies International
board member, and champion of all people with intellectual disabilities
passed away. On the anniversary of her passing, Special Olympics, Best
Buddies and people across the world join in celebration of her life and
legacy and look towards the first-ever "Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day" (EKS Day)
on September 25th which will promote a global call for people to commit
actions of inclusion, acceptance and unity for individuals with intellectual
Eunice Kennedy Shriver devoted her life to fighting for the rights of
those with intellectual disabilities. She believed everyone deserves respect.
She opened her home, she coached and above all, she was a friend. She
demonstrated an indomitable spirit in action. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day
message calls for people to continue these acts of inclusion for those with
intellectual disabilities, in essence to "play on" Mrs. Shriver's legacy. The
fourth Saturday of September will be an annual event to celebrate her life
and impact and to share her story to inspire new fans to action and unifying
communities around the world.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day has been created in her honor to inspire
people to experience her legacy and embrace the movement she founded more
than 42 years ago in her backyard. There will be three key components to
honoring her legacy:
- PLAY: A day of sports, training clinics and sports activities to commemorate Eunice Kennedy Shriver's belief in building greater equality through organized athletics. - JOIN: An effort to share her life and impact and to educate people about the urgent needs of people with intellectual disabilities and to motivate new fans and friends to act. - BUILD: A regional effort to dedicate new or renovated athletic facilities in Eunice Kennedy Shriver's honor in the poorest communities.
Hundreds of events will take place on September 25th all over the world
to honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Some of the notable events include:
- FIFA Football for Hope(TM) Center in Namibia will be dedicated in Eunice Kennedy Shriver's name - Unified Sports(R) events with Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity in Calcutta and Delhi, India - Special Olympics Camp Shriver events will be held in East Timor, Haiti and Malaysia - U.S. Soccer Foundation field dedication at the Washington, D.C. Friendship Charter School - Special Olympics Healthy Athletes screenings for those with intellectual disabilities will take place in over 20 countries
"This day will bring a hopeful future of inclusion and action that will
build communities throughout the world," shared Special Olympics Chairman and
CEO, Timothy P. Shriver. "All of these act and events are not merely an honor
to my mother's great legacy but they are also about embracing the movement
she started to inspire new fans to get involved. I can only hope that this
day becomes an annual celebration of people demonstrating their willingness
to accept and include people with intellectual disabilities."
"My mother's lifelong commitment to people with intellectual disabilities
taught me that there is no greater joy in life than the joy that comes from
contributing your time and energy to the enhancement of another person's
life," said Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies Founder and Chairman. "So, I
cannot think of a more fitting way to celebrate her life and legacy than to
encourage acts of volunteerism that will teach people to see their peers with
intellectual disabilities as classmates, as teammates, as colleagues, as
friends - and most importantly - as equals. Ultimately, I hope that this day
will put us one step closer to the world she envisioned; a world in which
people with intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into society."
For more information or to share your Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act of
Unity, visit www.eksday.org.
More than 200 million people worldwide have intellectual disabilities,
making this the largest disability group worldwide. Intellectual disabilities
cross racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur
in any family.
About Special Olympics Inc.
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by
encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting
acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect
worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics
movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more nearly 3.5 million
athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing
year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.
Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with
intellectual disabilities'. Special Olympics provides people with
intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their
potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy
and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.
About Best Buddies International
Best Buddies(R) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to
establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for
one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for
people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by
Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown
from one original chapter to more than 1,500 middle school, high school, and
college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies seven formal programs -
Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools, Citizens, e-Buddies(R) , Jobs and
BUILD - engage participants in 46 countries, positively impacting the lives
of 700,000 people with and without disabilities, as well as their respective
network of family, friends, and employers. As a result of their involvement
with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and
make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit
Mandy Murphy, Special Olympics Inc., +1-202-824-0227, mamurphy at specialolympics.org; or Heather Schatz, Best Buddies International, +1-305-374-2233 x 207, heatherschatz at bestbuddies.org
Tags: August 9, District of Columbia, Special Olympics, Washington, Western Europe