Local Special Olympics Athlete Takes on Capitol Hill

Special Olympics athlete Colin Davidson of Northborough (Second from left) meets up with Senator John Kerry to advocate for continued funding of health and wellness programs for Special Olympics.

Photo from left-Right; Matthew Andrews, director of state operations for Best Buddies Massachusetts Andre' Williams, Buddy, Best Buddies Massachusetts, Senator John Kerry; MA, Geoffrey Nothnagle, Special Olympics Massachusetts Board Chair and Robert Johnson, president and CEO, Special Olympics Massachusetts.

Special Olympics Massachusetts and Best Buddies Massachusetts joined together last Wednesday on Capitol Hill to urge members of the House and Senate to continue a national commitment by the U.S. Congress. More than 225 participants, from around the country were joined by Timothy P. Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, and Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies International Founder and Chairman, as they met face-face with Members of Congress in more than 200 scheduled meetings throughout the day.

The group made up of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), advocated for the passage of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act of 2011 and the re-appropriating of crucial seed funding for their health, education, inclusion and employment programs. 

The authorization of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act of 2011 will reaffirm congressional support initially made with passage of the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act of 2004 and the Best Buddies Empowerment for People with Intellectual Disabilities Act of 2009. This new legislation continues the legacy of Mrs. Shriver by authorizing funds to help support specific programs for persons with IDD, such as Healthy Athletes®, Project UNIFY® Best Buddies High Schools, and Best Buddies Jobs.

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