Did you know that the Special Olympics were founded by Eunice Kennedy Shiver? The first Special Olympic Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago and there are currently programs in all 50 states with more than 3.7 million athletes in 229 accredited Special Olympic programs. Additionally, there are more than 170 countries worldwide with seven regional offices around the world, located in China, Egypt, Ireland, Panama, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.
Athletes carry the benefits of the Olympics with them in their lives at home, school, community and jobs. Families are strengthened and community increases the understanding and acceptance and respect of these individuals.
The Special Olympics relies mostly on private resources to meet its annual budget. And for the past 30 years, The American Legion has been a proud and valuable supporter of the Special Olympics by hosting a variety of fundraisers. For example, the Special Olympics of Maryland participates in a Polar Plunge. This year, Maryland raised $2.8 million with the event and Virginia raised over $1.1 million. So let’s remember that "April is Children & Youth month" and to support youth in your community.
Linwood A. Moore
Children & Youth Commission
Sons of the American Legion