You’re going to see a lot of cards, emails, and now blogs thanking you for a great 2009 and wishing you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year. We’re no different here at Special Olympics Massachusetts. Thank you for a great 2009. In fact, it was a historic 2009 for Special Olympics and we have you to thank for that.
While many great things happened this year, history was made when the Yawkey Sports Training Center opened officially last month in Marlborough. Over five years of planning was now a reality for everyone here in the Special Olympics movement. Not just staff…everyone. With a full size gymnasium, weight room, a half size soccer field and state of the art training facilities, our athletes, coaches, volunteers and others will have the best training facility there is. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this Center and what will take place here in 2010.
You’ll also be hearing a lot more about our health and Healthy Athletes initiatives. It’s not enough to offer sports training and competition opportunities. We will see a dramatic increase in our efforts to give individuals with intellectual disabilities the chance to live a more fulfilling life, a healthier life and one that is enriched by sport, friends, family and you the community. We’re all a fan of good health in some way and these athletes we see every day are no different. They are worthy of your support and encouragement.
On a sad note, we lost the founder of Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. While a very heartbreaking time for many, it gave the world time to reflect on the immeasurable legacy she left this earth. She founded a movement, not just an organization. She changed millions of lives through her vision and in her later years, advocated tirelessly for something to be done to the healthcare rights for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The world will miss Mrs. Shriver and her incredible drive. She changed the world for all of us. And now it’s our turn to move her legacy forward. That legacy will live on all over the world and here in Massachusetts at the Yawkey Sports Training Center. Better health is on the way…
I know I speak for thousands in the movement here in Massachusetts by saying thank you. Thank you for your support whether financial or otherwise, thank you for your understanding of individuals with intellectual disabilities and thank you for realizing that it’s not just “nice” to support Special Olympics; its important.