2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics and I will again show my support by running the 2018 Boston Marathon to raise money for Special Olympics of Massachusetts. As a family member, board member, volunteer, coach and fundraiser, Special Olympics has left a positive mark on every aspect of my life. Special Olympics Massachusetts has fully embraced the notion that sports are a powerful force: participation can shift the focus from disability to ability, from isolation to involvement and from exclusion to inclusion. This transformative power of sports facilitates inclusion, instills confidence, improves health and inspires a sense of competition for those with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Massachusetts harnesses this power and is at the core of everything we do. Many parents have said that when all other systems left them out, Special Olympics was there at every juncture from elementary schools to middle school to high school to the transition to adulthood and beyond. Special Olympics is the only consistency in an athlete’s life. Add to that, Special Olympics includes the athletes not just on the playing field of sports but also in life, and a community is built. Special Olympics is truly a change organization, changing school and community culture through sports. The annual cost to support one athlete in Special Olympics for the year is approximately $391 and there is a growing demand for the activities and support that Special Olympics offers to those with intellectual disabilities and entire communities.
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