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Find the latest information about Special Olympics Southern California and how it changes lives for persons with intellectual disabilities.

Contact

Brian Szczerbinski
Senior Director, Communications
562.502.1131
brian@sosc.org



Press Releases

2016

Governor Signs Assemblymember Frazier’s Bill to Support the Special Olympics

Sacramento, CA (August 23, 2016) – Yesterday, Governor Brown signed into law AB 2371 by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley), which creates a tax “check off” on state tax returns to facilitate easy and convenient taxpayer contributions to the Special Olympics of Northern and Southern California.

“I am so pleased to support the Special Olympics and the thousands of lives it touches each year. I am very thankful to Governor Brown for signing this bill and joining me in supporting this great organization,” said Frazier. “Tax check off contribution is a proven way to move resources to good causes around the state and there is none more deserving of our support than the Special Olympics.”

Under the bill, taxpayers from Northern California and Southern California would be able to support the Special Olympics of Northern or Southern California based on their zip code by electing to contribute part of their annual state tax return. The Special Olympics provides athletic opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, thereby instilling confidence that leads to successful lives.

Special Olympics Northern California President & CEO David Solo and Special Olympics Southern California President & CEO Bill Shumard released this joint statement on behalf of the more than 40,000 athletes participating in Special Olympics throughout California: “This law will put Special Olympics in front of millions of people in California and gives them the option to change a life during the tax season through a voluntary contribution,” said CEOs Solo and Shumard. “This funding will help us reach thousands more athletes with intellectual disabilities through the power of sports training and competition, health screenings, health education, and leadership programs. The programming helps our athletes see themselves for their abilities, not disabilities. They become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives.”

The Special Olympics have hosted their games recently in Solano County, creating a notable and fun community event for the roughly thirty runners that participated and the hundreds of members of the public that come to watch and support the games. The Special Olympics hosts games around the state each year, including thousands of participants, a positive and meaningful program that will surely grow with the bill’s passage.

Special Olympics Southern California Receives Coveted Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

Long Beach, CA (August 15, 2016) – Special Olympics Southern California’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

Since 2002, Charity Navigator has used objective, data-driven analysis to award a 4-star rating only to the most fiscally responsible organizations. Charity Navigator’s rating system examines three broad areas of a charity's performance: financial health, accountability, and transparency. The ratings show givers how efficiently Charity Navigator believes a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time, how well its level of commitment is to good governance, and how open it is with its financial information.

"It's important that our donors and prospects are able to see that we’re using their donations wisely to serve athletes with intellectual disabilities," said Bill Shumard, President & CEO for Special Olympics Southern California. "We are honored to receive a four-star rating from Charity Navigator as it demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability. We will continue to enrich the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, health, and leadership programs."

Since 2010, Special Olympics Southern California has more than doubled the number of athletes with intellectual disabilities it serves to 26,006 (a 14,000 increase in athletes). Special Olympics year-round programs are free to the athletes and their families and lead to improved health, self-confidence, and independence. Along with changing the lives of the athletes, Special Olympics creates more accepting and inclusive communities.

"Special Olympics Southern California’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public," said Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. "Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Special Olympics Southern California to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world's most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Special Olympics Southern California."

Its rating and other information about charitable giving are available at www.charitynavigator.org.

Special Olympics World Games CEO Patrick McClenahan Named 2015 Sports Executive of the Year

Los Angeles, CA (January 20, 2016) – Patrick McClenahan, who ran the remarkably successful 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles last summer, has been named the 2015 Sports Executive of the Year by the L.A. Sports Council. He will be honored at the 11th Annual LA Sports Awards, to be held on Thursday, February 25 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The World Games, known as LA 2015, brought together 6,163 athletes from 164 nations, the largest gathering of nations ever for a sporting event in the history of Los Angeles. During the event, an unprecedented 247,247 spectators attended the opening and closing ceremonies and 25 sports competitions taking place over 9 days at 23 venue sites spread across Greater Los Angeles.

In addition to serving as LA 2015 President and CEO, McClenahan also led the successful international bid to bring the Games to Los Angeles. Over the next four years he then led the effort to attract the team of sponsors, donors, staff and volunteers that made the event possible, including negotiating the first-ever World Games global broadcast agreement with ESPN, which included live coverage of the Opening Ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

McClenahan made it the mission of LA 2015 to create awareness that leads to acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Through the power of sport, the Special Olympics World Games succeeded in transforming the lives of the Special Olympics athletes as well as the hearts and minds of all who witnessed their courage, determination, and joy.

The LA Sports Awards are produced annually by the Sports Council to celebrate the greatest moments of the year in sports in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. The show will be televised by Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket (air dates TBA).

The ceremony also will feature the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully, presentations to the Sportsman, Sportswoman, and Coach of the Year, plus a countdown of the year’s Top Ten moments.

2015

Special Olympics Southern California Responds to Tragedy at Inland Regional Center

Long Beach, CA (December 3, 2015) – Special Olympics Southern California is saddened by the horrific events that took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, CA, a center that serves people with developmental disabilities and believes in inclusion.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this tragic event," said Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. "The regional centers are a tremendous resource to our athletes, families, and the community. We are united in mourning and support."

Based on what we know to date, no Special Olympics athletes and family members were injured during the shooting.

Many Special Olympics Southern California athletes and families gain much needed support from the regional centers that provide assessment, case management, and other direct services for over 280,000 people with developmental disabilities and their families. The centers also purchase and coordinate community-based services and supports.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of more than 19,625 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free year-round sports training and competitions to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation develops improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self-confidence. Special Olympics has become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org.

Special Olympics Southern California Earns 2015 Exemplary Program Award for Adapted P.E.

Long Beach, CA (December 7, 2015) – Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) was named the recipient of the 2015 Exemplary Program Award for Adapted Physical Education.

The award, selected by the State Council on Adapted Physical Education, was presented November 21 during the 44th National Adapted Physical Education Conference luncheon. SOSC was nominated by the Los Angeles Unified School District for its collaborative efforts to bring sports training and competition opportunities to students of all ages through Special Olympics Southern California’s School Partnership Program.

Along with LAUSD, SOSC currently partners with over 19 school districts across Southern California, including Burbank Unified School District, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Delano Joint Union School District, Delano Union Elementary School District, Fallbrook Union High School District, Fillmore Unified School District, Lake Elsinore Unified School District, Long Beach Unified School District, Ojai Unified School District, Oxnard Union High School District, Palos Verde Peninsula Unified School District, Poway Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Santa Barbara Unified School District, Santa Maria Joint High School District, Tustin Unified School District, Vista Unified School District, and William S. Hart Union High School District.

SOSC also provides opportunities for young people of all abilities to be leaders in their schools and communities, promoting equality, acceptance and social inclusion to make a positive impact.

  • Young Athletes – Introduces inclusive foundational sports play to children 2-7 years old through games, songs, and other play activities that help develop motor, social, and cognitive skills.
  • School Games – Provides training and competitive sports options to special education and adapted physical education students in schools.
  • Unified Sports – Fosters social inclusion by partnering athletes with and without intellectual disabilities in a competitive environment.
  • R-Word Campaign – Helps raise awareness about the hurtfulness behind the R-Word (retard) by pledging and sharing stories year-round.
  • Youth Leadership – Provides youth with and without intellectual disabilities with opportunities to implement programs that unify schools, transform communities, and promote acceptance and inclusion for all.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of more than 19,625 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free year-round sports training and competitions to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation develops improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self-confidence. Special Olympics has become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org.

Special Olympics Southern California Responds to Tragedy at Inland Regional Center

Long Beach, CA (December 3, 2015) – Special Olympics Southern California is saddened by the horrific events that took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, CA, a center that serves people with developmental disabilities and believes in inclusion.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this tragic event," said Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. "The regional centers are a tremendous resource to our athletes, families, and the community. We are united in mourning and support."

Based on what we know to date, no Special Olympics athletes and family members were injured during the shooting.

Many Special Olympics Southern California athletes and families gain much needed support from the regional centers that provide assessment, case management, and other direct services for over 280,000 people with developmental disabilities and their families. The centers also purchase and coordinate community-based services and supports.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of more than 19,625 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free year-round sports training and competitions to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation develops improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self-confidence. Special Olympics has become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org.

CIF Partners with Special Olympics and CDE to Provide Inclusive Sports Opportunities at Local High Schools

Sacramento, CA (November 30, 2015) – The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), Special Olympics Northern and Southern California and the California Department of Education (CDE) today announce their partnership to establish an inclusive culture that promotes participation opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities. This new partnership will enable CIF member schools to implement unified sports programming on their respective campuses.

Additionally, CIF is also working with U.S. Paralympics to provide ambulatory and wheelchair events at CIF State Championship events including, 2016 Track & Field State Championships and 2017 Swim & Dive State Championships.

As a former coach, I am so pleased about the new partnership,” said State Superintendent Tom Torlakson. “It will help schools ensure that students with intellectual, developmental, physical and other types of disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from all the things they can learn by participating in sports – teamwork, discipline, focus, persistence, practice, healthy living and so many other life lessons.”

It is estimated that over 10 percent of the students in California schools have a documented disability. The inclusion of athletic programs for students with disabilities increases opportunities and encourages access to the academic benefits through athletic participation. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same sports team, teaching teamwork and the value of inclusion for all participants.

“Unified sports on high school campuses is the next great frontier for the Special Olympics movement,” said Bill Shumard, President/CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. “This is a bold move by the CIF, giving Special Olympics athletes on high school campuses in our state the same opportunity to train and compete in the same framework as other students on campus. This will lead to further acceptance and inclusion of students with special needs on school campuses…we are thrilled with this opportunity.”

David Solo, President & CEO, Special Olympics Northern California adds, “CIF’s visionary decision to partner with both Special Olympics Northern and Southern California in order to provide students with greater access to the Unified Sports program enables us to move closer to a world where the intellectually disabled are accepted by society as a whole and inclusion is commonplace.”

With the announcement of this partnership CIF launched a new section on www.cifstate.org titled “Inclusive Sports.” This resource will provide CIF member schools with tools to implement programs for students with disabilities on their school campuses.

“Unified programs will offer new and expanded opportunities on our high school campuses,” said Roger L. Blake, CIF Executive Director. “Working with California Special Olympics and California Department of Education, CIF will provide strategies and best practices for integrating and growing unified sports programs at our 1,576 member schools.”

About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of more than 19,625 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free year-round sports training and competitions to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation develops improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self-confidence. Special Olympics has become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org.

Special Olympics Southern California President & CEO Bill Shumard Earns California State University, Long Beach Distinguished Alumni Honor for 2015

LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 6, 2015) – Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC), was named California State University, Long Beach’s Distinguished Alumni for 2015.

The alumni chosen for the honor provides leadership to major national industries and attributes one common element to their success: getting an education at a California State University.

“I am so grateful to Long Beach State for educating me and starting me on a career path that eventually brought me to Special Olympics Southern California,” Shumard said. “Being the first member of my family to attend college, I’m honored and humbled to be recognized by my alma mater in this manner.”

Bill Shumard has served as President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California since June 2005, taking over the leadership role of the organization after spending five years as a volunteer member of SOSC's Board of Directors.

Under Shumard's leadership, SOSC is now recognized as one of Special Olympics’ premier programs in the worldwide movement that serves nearly 4 million athletes in 180 countries. SOSC was awarded the bid for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles – the largest sporting and humanitarian event in the world. Additionally, athlete growth has doubled to more than 17,000 during Shumard's tenure, while the average age of athlete has dropped from 37 to 22.

Shumard, a 1972 graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, also served as the executive director of athletics at his alma mater. During his 10-year tenure at the “ultimate career job,” Shumard helped secure CSULB as the site for SOSC’s Summer Games championships and the partnership “still thrives to this day” 17 years later.

Shumard has also worked as the director of athletics at California State University, Fullerton from 1991 – 1994 and as director of community services and special events for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1975 – 1988.

Shumard’s board service includes the United States Leadership Council for Special Olympics, Los Angeles Sports Council, CSULB’s Advisory Council for the Graduate Program in Sports Management, and past chair of the Governing Council for the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership in the CSULB College of Business Administration.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 17,000 athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style sports. For more information, visit www.sosc.org.

Tesoro (the owner of the ARCO brand) and ampm Raise More than $82,000 in the First Week of the “Hometown Heroes” Campaign supporting Special Olympics Southern California

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (April 15, 2015) – On April 7, ARCO ampm launched a new fundraising campaign, “Hometown Heroes,” to benefit Special Olympics Southern California. After one week of the campaign, ARCO ampm has already raised more than $82,000!

To kick off the campaign last week, local law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes showed their appreciation to customers by washing windows, checking tire pressure, and more. The kick-off events were held at 10 ARCO ampm locations in Southern California, including Huntington Beach, Ontario, Riverside, San Dimas, San Diego, and more. Participating law enforcement agencies included the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Irvine Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, and more. Radio stations, including KIIS, KROQ, and JACK FM, provided entertainment while ARCO ampm employees got into the spirit through decorations, games, giveaways, and more. The ARCO ampm at 2195 S Haven Ave in Ontario created a torch icon display out of Coca-Cola product. More than $6,000 and lots of awareness was raised through the kick-off events.

“ARCO ampm operators believe in supporting organizations that benefit our communities,” said ampm franchisee Paul Dhaliwal. “We appreciate that all the money we raise for Special Olympics goes toward helping our local athletes.”

Until May 31, ARCO and ampm customers in Southern California can purchase a Special Olympics torch icon for $1 to support Special Olympics Southern California athletes. Customers who purchase the icon will receive a coupon for $0.50 off their next purchase of two Coca-Cola 8.5oz aluminum bottles. ARCO will also match $0.50 for every $1 contributed, up to a campaign total of $25,000. Money raised through this campaign will help send local athletes to the 2015 Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games and covers costs, such as uniforms, equipment, and transportation.

Tesoro (the owner of the ARCO brand) has been a supporter of Special Olympics Southern California as a year-round partner for the Law Enforcement Torch Run since 2008. They also host a kick-off event for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for Special Olympics Southern California. Other events they support include the Polar Plunges and Summer Games.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 17,000 athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style sports.

About The Tesoro Corporation
Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Tesoro, through its subsidiaries, operates six refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of over 850,000 barrels per day and ownership in a logistics business which includes a 36% interest in Tesoro Logistics LP (NYSE: TLLP) and ownership of its general partner. Tesoro's retail-marketing system includes over 2,200 retail stations under the ARCO®, Shell®, Exxon®, Mobil®, USA Gasoline(TM) and Tesoro® brands. Treasure Franchise Company LLC, a subsidiary of Tesoro Refining & Marketing LLC, franchises ampm® mini markets under a master franchise from BP West Coast Products in certain geographic areas.

Tesoro (the owner of the ARCO brand) and ampm Raises Funds to support Special Olympics Southern California Hometown Heroes

Law Enforcement to Wash Windows and Check Tire Pressure to kick off the Campaign

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (April 7, 2015) – From April 7 to May 31, ARCO and ampm customers in Southern California will have the opportunity to purchase a Special Olympics torch icon for $1 to support Special Olympics Southern California athletes. Customers who purchase the icon will receive a coupon for $0.50 off their next purchase of two Coca-Cola 8.5oz aluminum bottles. ARCO will also match $0.50 for every $1 contributed, up to a campaign total of $25,000. Money raised through this campaign will help send local athletes to the 2015 Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games and covers costs, such as uniforms, equipment, and transportation.

To kick off the campaign, local law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes will show their appreciation to customers by washing windows, checking tire pressure, and more at select ARCO and ampm locations from April 7 – 10. At the events ARCO and ampm will provide games, products, and local radio stations will provide music. Kick-off event locations include:

  • April 7 from 9 – 11 a.m. at 18972 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach
  • April 7 from 2 – 4 p.m. at 1115 W Arrow Hwy, San Dimas
  • April 8 from 9 – 11 a.m. at 1518 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon
  • April 8 from 9 – 11 a.m. at 58181 Twenty Nine Palms, Yucca Valley
  • April 8 from 2 – 4 p.m. at 4901 La Sierra Ave, Riverside
  • April 9 from 9 – 11 a.m. at 12078 Three Flags Court, Hesperia
  • April 9 from 12 – 2 p.m. at 9320 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego
  • April 9 from 2 – 4 p.m. at 2281 W Casmalia St, Rialto
  • April 10 from 9 – 11 a.m. at 2195 S Haven Ave, Ontario
  • April 10 from 2 – 4 p.m. at 1935 E Katella Ave, Orange

“We are excited to partner with Special Olympics for the Hometown Heroes campaign,” said Robert Motley, Sr. Director ARCO Retail Marketing. “Every Special Olympics athlete has overcome an obstacle in his or her lifetime, and we’re honored to share their stories of passion and determination with the community.”

Throughout the campaign, audio promotion will play in select ARCO and ampm locations telling the stories of Special Olympics Southern California athletes Caelyn Griffith of Culver City and Jeff Scott of Brea. These athletes will both represent Special Olympics Team USA at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this summer.

In addition, Tesoro (a parent of ARCO through a subsidiary) has been a supporter of Special Olympics Southern California as a year-round partner for the Law Enforcement Torch Run since 2008. They also host a kick-off event for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for Special Olympics Southern California. Other events they support include the Polar Plunges and Summer Games.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 17,000 athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style sports.

About The Tesoro Corporation
Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Tesoro, through its subsidiaries, operates six refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of over 850,000 barrels per day and ownership in a logistics business which includes a 36% interest in Tesoro Logistics LP (NYSE: TLLP) and ownership of its general partner. Tesoro's retail-marketing system includes over 2,200 retail stations under the ARCO®, Shell®, Exxon®, Mobil®, USA Gasoline(TM) and Tesoro® brands. Treasure Franchise Company LLC, a subsidiary of Tesoro Refining & Marketing LLC, franchises ampm® mini markets under a master franchise from BP West Coast Products in certain geographic areas.

7th Annual A World of Difference Dinner & Auction Fundraiser Honors Sheriff Jim McDonnell, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 16, 2015) – Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) honored The Boeing Company as this year’s Distinguished Corporate Supporter at the A World of Difference dinner & auction this month. This honor is given to corporations that are leaders in their industry and show outstanding commitment to enriching the lives of Special Olympics athletes and the community.

“Boeing is honored to receive this accolade from Special Olympics Southern California,” said Kim Cano, director, Employee Relations, Boeing. “Our employees are proud to have given thousands of hours in volunteering for Special Olympics to help change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.”

Boeing began its partnership with SOSC in 1996. Since the parternship began, it has become a dynamic combination of financial and volunteer support. Boeing and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California have contributed more than $500,000 over the years to support the athletes of Special Olympics Southern California!

A World of Difference is Special Olympics Southern California’s premier fundraising gala. This event features one of the largest auctions in Long Beach with more than 300 items. Attendees will enjoy a formal dinner, live entertainment, and inspiring stories about Special Olympic athletes. Individual tickets can be purchased for $150, and table sponsorships start at $1,750. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.sosc.org/worldofdifference.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 17,000 athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style sports.

About Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship
Through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization, Boeing builds better communities worldwide by giving time, funding, and expertise to improve access to globally competitive learning and skills development, foster creativity, sustain the environment, and improve civic engagement. In 2014, a total of $188 million from The Boeing Company and its employees went to help improve communities across the globe. Visit the Boeing Corporate Citizenship Report for more information.

About Employees Community Fund of Boeing California
The Employees Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing California is an employee-owned and operated nonprofit organization that allows employees to support the needs of their local communities through tax-deductible recurring payroll deductions or one-time gifts. One-hundred percent of the dollars contributed are returned to areas where contributors live and work. More than 350 nonprofit organizations benefit from the average $2.1 million in employee contributions each year. Visit the ECF Website for more information.

7th Annual A World of Difference Dinner & Auction Fundraiser Honors Sheriff Jim McDonnell, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 16, 2015) – Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) is pleased to honor Sheriff Jim McDonnell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as the recipient of the 2015 Special Olympics Champion Award. This honor is presented at the annual A World of Difference dinner & auction fundraiser to community leaders who show outstanding commitment to the Special Olympics mission by enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from Special Olympics Southern California,” said Sheriff McDonnell. “It’s a gratifying feeling to be involved with an organization that has accomplished so much for people with intellectual disabilities.”

Sheriff McDonnell began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a graduate from the Los Angeles Police Academy. From his first day on the job, Sheriff McDonnell has stressed the importance of treating all members of the community with respect; being transparent with and accountable to the individuals that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department serves; and creating an environment that recognizes and rewards character, competence, and compassion.

A World of Difference is Special Olympics Southern California’s premier fundraising gala. This event features one of the largest auctions in Long Beach with more than 300 items. Attendees will enjoy a formal dinner, live entertainment, and inspiring stories about Special Olympic athletes. Individual tickets can be purchased for $150, and table sponsorships start at $1,750. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.sosc.org/worldofdifference.

About Special Olympics Southern California
Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 17,000 athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style sports. For more information, visit www.sosc.org.

Resources

Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California offers opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. More than 19,625 athletes and 15,000 coaches and volunteers take part in 12 Olympic-style sports.