LOS ANGELES (June 29, 2015) — Today, the LA84 Foundation Board of Directors increased its commitment to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games to $1 million. This is the World Games’ largest donation to date from a private foundation.
This effort follows the Foundation’s initial grant award of $250,000 announced in January to help cover field of play expenses; the Board’s decision will increase the grant by $750,000, for a total of $1 million. In addition, the Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee is pledging its best efforts to match these funds in the coming months.
“We are pleased to announce our $1 million pledge for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which promises to be a landmark event in the history of Los Angeles,” said Anita L. DeFrantz, President of the LA84 Foundation and Executive Board Member of the International Olympic Committee.
“The LA84 Foundation is proud to continue the bond between the 1984 Olympic Games and Special Olympics that began 31 years ago,” said LA84 Foundation Board Member Peter V. Ueberroth, who served as President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee during the 1984 Olympic Games and led the effort to establish the LA84 Foundation with a portion of its surplus funds. “The Special Olympics was one of the four primary beneficiaries of the 1984 Olympic Games torch relay, receiving more than $2.3 million.”
The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will take place July 25 – August 2, and will be the largest single event hosted by the City of Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. Approximately 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will compete in 25 athletic events, supported by upwards of 30,000 volunteers, 3,000 coaches and 500,000 spectators— the world’s largest sports or humanitarian event this year.
“This significant pledge from LA84 demonstrates that the positive legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games lives on in our city,” said Patrick McClenahan, President and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, who also is a member of LA84’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to welcoming athletes from around the world next month for the 2015 World Games, which will once again unite the diverse communities of Los Angeles. We hope that many fans will join us to cheer on these inspirational athletes as they compete with courage, determination and joy.”
Over the past 30 years, the LA84 Foundation has built a strong reputation as the leading regional supporter of youth sports. Originally endowed with $93 million of the $232.5 million surplus funds from the 1984 Olympic Games, the Foundation has invested more than $225 million into communities located throughout the eight counties of Southern California.
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation was established to manage Southern California’s share of the surplus from the successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The Foundation received an endowment of $93 million. Since it began operations in 1985, it has invested more than $225 million back into the communities that supported the Games, supporting more than 3 million youth in the eight Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Its headquarters is the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles where it houses the world’s premier sports library and meeting facilities. The Foundation provides grants to youth sports organizations, manages programs, including a coaching education program, and convenes numerous forums for the exploration of the most pressing issues in sport. For more information, please visit www.la84.org.
About the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015
With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 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. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. 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 The Coca-Cola Company, Mattel, Deloitte, Toyota, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, Davis Elen Advertising, Microsoft, Toys“R”Us, Google, UPS, AEG, David Geffen, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, The Walt Disney Company, Panda Express, and Knights of Columbus. 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 and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.