In an April campaign hosted by all 119 locations of Fry’s Food Stores in Arizona, residents were encouraged to round up their totals to the nearest dollar in support of Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ). Through this effort, Fry’s was able to raise more than $65,000, showing not only Fry’s continued support, but also Arizona’s immense generosity and patronage for the organization.
SOAZ hosts a variety of programs that continually sees support from Fry’s Food Stores. Whether it’s the company’s participation in Unified Relay Across America, providing in-kind food and beverages during SOAZ competitions or volunteering at programs, Fry’s Food Stores has been a consistent force behind all that SOAZ is able to accomplish.
The donations raised help SOAZ continue to provide year-round sports training, athletic competition and various support programs for nearly 16,000 athletes. SOAZ’s goal is to empower more than 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive and respected members, and, with the recent donation, will be able to realize these goals much easier.
These programs include “Healthy Athletes,” a free health-screening initiative that provides on-site medical aid for everything from podiatry to dentistry; “Project UNIFY,” a program that promotes social inclusion for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities through sports; and many more.
“With their support in not only SOAZ events, but also in hosting their own events like Fry’s Fuel of Dreams, Fry’s Food Stores has been an amazing philanthropic presence for our organization,” Special Olympics Arizona CEO Tim Martin said. “Their yearly support on and off the field is something for which we’re immensely grateful.”
For those looking to support Special Olympics year round at Fry’s Food Stores, SOAZ encourages the public to sign up for Fry’s Community Rewards and select Special Olympics Arizona (#72451) as their charity of choice.
For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy. The lessons learned in Special Olympics also impact their life skills. Sports training enhances focus and gives participants a structure for learning important lessons about perseverance, endurance and setting goals. Many people are surprised to know, more than half of adult Special Olympics athletes in the United States are employed, versus 10 percent of intellectually disabled persons who do not participate in Special Olympics.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.