Celebrarting 50 Years
In 2001, the Lions Clubs International Foundation awarded Special Olympics the first grant in a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment. Since then, the foundation has given more than $1 million each year to support the Opening Eyes program, Unified Sports: Mission Inclusion, and Special Olympics Leadership Academy.
Opening Eyes & Mission: Inclusion
by Mathew Cioffi (Club LCIF Coordinator)
Lions Club International Foundation began their support for the Special Olympics “Opening Eyes” program in 2001 and continues to support the athletes with more than $1 million dollars each year. This program provides vision screening and glasses to all athletes. In addition Leos and Lions around the world take part in the “Unified Sports: Mission: Inclusion” partnership.
“Through their leadership and vision, the Leos have helped transform the perception of athletes from objects of service into agents of service. What was once a population targeted for simple charity has, through Leo engagement, become a population whose willingness to serve is equally valued on a local and national stage.”
The Leos also take part in the “Special Olympics Leadership Academy”. “Working with executive, athlete and youth-based leaders throughout the globe, the Leadership Academy strives to ensure that these leaders are equipped with the skills, tools and support necessary to enhance the Movement and promote inclusive attitudes and behaviors in the world around them. Lions Clubs International Foundation’s support has been critical to the creation and expansion of the Academy, providing the catalyst for a fundamental shift in the development and performance of leaders in the Special Olympics movement.”
Learn more about the LCIF Opening Eyes program and “Mission Inclusion through the LCIF blog about the program in Jamacia, or check-out the Special Olympics article, from which this article is based on.