SPECIAL OLYMPICS ARIZONA AWARDED $100,000 GRANT FROM THUNDERBIRDS CHARITIES

MONEY WILL SUPPORT SOAZ’S 2020 STATE, REGIONAL AND AREA COMPETITIONS

President and CEO Jamie Heckerman announced today that Special Olympics Arizona received a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open during the 2020 Spring Funding Cycle.

The funds will be used to support SOAZ’s 2020 state competitions projects, along with providing support and opportunities for area and regional competitions due to difficulties associated with large events and Covid-19.

“We always appreciate the great support that we get from our partnership with Thunderbirds Charities,” Heckerman said. “Generous grants like this one are integral in helping Special Olympics Arizona serve our more than 25,000 athletes throughout the state, and this year, more than ever with this Covid-19 pandemic, it is even more important. We can’t thank The Thunderbirds and Thunderbirds Charities enough for this tremendous show of support.”

Special Olympics Arizona strives to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.
With an emphasis on acceptance, respect and inclusion, SOAZ operates under the assumption that people with intellectual disabilities are capable of participation in all aspects of life by focusing on abilities rather than limitations. Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. Special Olympics programs provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy, and the lessons learned in Special Olympics impact their life skills as well.

“Thunderbirds Charities has been a long time supporter of Special Olympics Arizona and the sharing of gifts and skills they provide to members of our communities,” said Tim Woods, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “For many decades, they have created and sustained a unique model of support for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Thunderbirds Charities is honored to assist their cause and we can’t wait to see the athletes back in action soon.”

The purpose of Special Olympics Arizona is to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities to live healthy, fulfilling and meaningful lives. We realize our vision of acceptance and inclusion through health, leadership and advocacy programs, as well as our mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. For more information on Special Olympics Arizona visit www.specialolympicsarizona.org.

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