2015 Special Olympics World Games Marks #GivingTuesday by Launching Volunteer Registration Portal, 'Support an Athlete' Program

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2015 Special Olympics World Games Marks #GivingTuesday by Launching Volunteer Registration Portal, 'Support an Athlete' Program

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An athlete races across the finish line at the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens. The 2015 …


In acknowledgment of #GivingTuesday, a consumer movement to make the Tuesday after Thanksgiving a day of giving to those in need, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – to be held in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015 – announced today the introduction of two major programs designed to encourage support of and participation in what will be the largest sports-and-humanitarian event in the world that year.

First, application and registration for World Games volunteers is available online beginning today via the Games' website at www.LA2015.org. It is anticipated that this event will require 30,000 volunteers in a wide variety of capacities, helping create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the 7,000 athletes from 170 countries, along with 3,000 coaches, 6,000 family members, 5,000 VIP's and dignitaries and an expected 500,000 spectators over a nine-day period. Volunteer opportunities will be available at competition venues, as well as in such areas as hospitality, language services, media relations, administration, information services, technology and many more. Volunteer candidates must be at least 14 years old. To apply or register for a volunteer position, go to www.LA2015.org/volunteer.

“Volunteering for any Special Olympics program is a unique, life-changing experience...just ask the people who have been volunteering for decades...and the global nature of the World Games makes this a particularly compelling opportunity and a perfect way to celebrate the idea behind 'Giving Tuesday,'” said Patrick McClenahan, President and CEO of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “Our volunteers will play a key role in making the World Games not only a landmark event for the Special Olympics movement, but a signature event for the city of Los Angeles.”

In another major initiative tied to #GivingTuesday, the World Games is launching its “Support An Athlete” program, whereby individuals, or groups of individuals, can band together online forming their own fundraising pages to raise $2,500 to support a particular athlete's participation in the Games. For every $2,500 raised as a group, donors will be matched with one athlete competing in the Games. The $2,500 contribution covers the athlete's expenses after he or she arrives in Los Angeles, including all food, housing, transportation, medical care and entertainment at the Athlete Villages at USC and UCLA. Details on “Support An Athlete,” guidelines for participating and links to existing teams and individual fundraisers can be found at support.LA2015.org. All contributions are tax-deductible.

“There's nothing quite so powerful as being up close and personal with a Special Olympics athlete, experiencing first-hand the courage and perseverance that drive these extraordinary athletes to compete at a high level, especially when that competition is on a world stage like Los Angeles in 2015,” McClenahan said. “Having a rooting interest in one very special swimmer, runner, tennis player, golfer, gymnast or bocce player makes the Games that much more personal and interactive for everyone, resulting in the most rewarding experience possible.”

#GivingTuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (this year on December 3), is a consumer movement initiated by a group of charitable organizations and corporations to make this day one about giving to those in need. Currently, some 800 partners, ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies, participate in #GivingTuesday.

About the 2015 Special Olympics World Games and Special Olympics

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 170 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015 – will be the largest sports-and-humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. Current Founding Champions and sponsors include AEG, Kaiser Permanente, Mattel, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, the Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, Deloitte and Davis Elen Advertising. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org.

Serving the intellectual disability community, Special Olympics has been changing lives and attitudes for 45 years since its founding by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The global Special Olympics movement today engages more than 4.2 million athletes who participate in more than 70,000 annual local and regional sports events in Special Olympics programs around the world.

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2015 Special Olympics World Games
Marc Grossman, 310-489-9506


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