Special Olympics USA Games Names First Founding Partner With $1 Million Pledge From the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund
PRINCETON, N.J., March 15, 2012 -- The Organizing Committee of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and Toys"R"Us® today announced a $1 million commitment from the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, making Toys"R"Us the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. In addition to its Founding Partner status, Toys"R"Us will be the Presenting Sponsor of the Young Athletes™ Festival, a first-of-its-kind feature at a Special Olympics USA Games event.
The Toys"R"Us Young Athletes Festival will provide opportunities for children, ages 2-7, and their families to take part in the Special Olympics Young Athletes program, Healthy Athletes® activities and family seminars geared toward the future stars of Special Olympics.
"Toys"R"Us signing as the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games continues their on-going support of our movement," said Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. "Their vision and leadership in the area of inclusive play will only add to the unity that these National Games will create throughout New Jersey and the nation."
"As a New Jersey-based organization with a long-standing commitment to children of all abilities, we are tremendously proud to partner with Special Olympics as they bring the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games to our home state for the first time," said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys"R"Us Children's Fund. "We look forward to deepening our enduring relationship with Special Olympics in welcoming athletes to New Jersey and enriching their overall experience at the first-ever Young Athletes Festival."
The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will take place at sporting venues throughout New Jersey, June 14 through June 21. More than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete in 17 sports. An estimated 10,000 volunteers as well as 50,000 additional spectators will be in attendance.
The Toys"R"Us-sponsored Young Athletes Festival will build on the Young Athletes program, an inclusive, innovative play program for children with and without special needs that develops critical early cognitive, social and motor skills and introduces kids to the world of sports. In addition to the Young Athletes Festival, youth-centered and educational events will be held in conjunction with the Games, rallying young leaders from across the country to raise awareness and call for action amongst their peers in support of the Special Olympics movement by promoting acceptance and respect for people with intellectual disabilities.
"We are thrilled to welcome Toys"R"Us as our first Founding Partner," added TJ Nelligan, Chairman & CEO of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games Organizing Committee. "Toys"R"Us has embraced a dimension of these Games that will introduce children and their families to the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, and through their unprecedented support, change the lives of these future athletes and their families for many years to come."
For 38 years, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has been based in New Jersey and today has more than 4,500 employees statewide across 45 stores, regional offices, the corporate headquarters and the company's largest retail distribution center in the country. Toys"R"Us, Inc. and the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund has a long history of giving back to the communities it serves by keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Since it was founded in 1992, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund has provided millions of dollars in grants to leading special needs organizations, including the American Society for Deaf Children, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society and Autism Speaks, among others. Toys"R"Us, Inc. and the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund also work with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children of all abilities, to create the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. Released annually, the Guide provides qualified toy recommendations to help aid in the skill development of children who have physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities.
The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will mark the third time a Special Olympics USA Summer Games has been held. More information about the Games can be found at 2014specialolympics.org. Follow the Games on Facebook (Facebook.com/USANationalGames) or Twitter (Twitter.com/2014USAGames).
About the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games
The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted by New Jersey, June 14-21, 2014. Nearly 3,500 athletes will compete in 17 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and an estimated 50,000 family, friends and spectators. The Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and showcase athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as they demonstrate the transformative power of sports to educate and inform others about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. In addition to sports competition, the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will highlight Special Olympics' work in sport, education, health and communities including special events and programs, such as Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a Young Athletes Festival, Healthy Athletes Program screenings, and symposiums addressing health, youth leadership, and more. Delegates will also enjoy recreational and cultural programs in their free time, introducing them to the culture and history of the New Jersey/New York area. The Games will be held at venues throughout the state, with most of the athletic competitions taking place in and around Princeton, NJ. Learn more about the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games at 2014specialolympics.org and follow the Games on Facebook at Facebook.com/USANationalGames.
About the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund
The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund is a public charity affiliated with Toys"R"Us, Inc., a company that unabashedly declares "We love kids!" The core mission of the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. Since it was founded in 1992, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund has contributed millions of dollars to qualified organizations that support that mission, including those providing disaster relief to children and families who are victims of large-scale crises. The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund also provides grants to leading organizations that support children with special needs.
About Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is the world's leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 874 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 630 international stores and over 130 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys"R"Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys"R"Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys"R"Us, Babies"R"Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.