News 2014

Ann Costello Attends Special Olympics Kick Off at White House to Engage Youth Around the World to Play Unified to Live Unified

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Olympic Gold Medalist Donna de Varona, Tony Ciaccia, Ann Costellodouble rule

(l to r) Olympic Gold Medalist Donna de Varona, Tony Ciaccia, Ann Costello

Washington, DCJuly 31, 2014 – Ann Costello, Golisano Foundation Director and her husband Tony, were guests at a dinner hosted at the White House by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The event was ‘A Celebration of Special Olympics and A Unified Generation,’ celebrating the work that Special Olympics, with the support of the Obama administration and others, has been doing to activate young people to fight inactivity, intolerance and injustice in their schools and communities. Singer Katy Perry performed.

Video of President Obama's Remarks

Special Olympics plans to engage youth across the world in a new youth activation campaign to be launched in a few months to create the first truly unified generation – a generation in which young people with and without intellectual disabilities create a future of respect and inclusion for everyone. The goal of the campaign will be to mobilize youth to play and ultimately live unified, breaking down the barriers that exclude people with intellectual disabilities.

Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Playing unified can be as easy as picking up a ball and inviting someone not quite like you to play. Or you can participate in an organized Unified Sports event. Our opponent is intolerance. As long as we come together on the field of play, we can defeat it.

Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics®, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Lions Clubs International, Mattel, P&G, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, Finish Line, The Safeway Foundation, and Safilo Group.


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