Golisano gifts $30M to Special Olympics to expand health services globally

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Special Olympics announced Thursday that they received one of its largest single private gift in the organization’s history.

Well-known philanthropist, Tom Golisano, gifted $30 million to the Special Olympics. This is Golisano’s third major gift to the Special Olympics.

“Over the last decade, Tom’s commitment of $67 million has helped us expand our health programming from local and regional health services, to now over 120 Healthy Communities. Tom and Foundation Executive Director Ann Costello have been visionaries in reducing health disparities and improving the quality of life for people with different abilities. They have been consistent and outspoken in their commitment to the physical and social-emotional health of those with intellectual disabilities. We thank them for their leadership, partnership, and passion for making health care more equitable for our population,” Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics.

The money will be used to expand the Special Olympics Healthy Communities program, which provides health services globally for people with intellectual disabilities.

“By investing in our Healthy Communities, Mr. Golisano will allow us to expand to hundreds of new domestic and global regions. This new gift comes at a critical time for our global community as we have seen during this pandemic just how little this population has been prioritized.” Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Special Olympics Chief Health Officer said.

Over the past 5 years, the Special Olympics says they have conducted 700,000 athlete health screenings through the Healthy Communities program. Healthy Communities added 150,000 athletes to fitness and health programs and more than 150,000 health care providers have been trained in 60 countries and 130 health professional schools now have inclusive health curricula to train students on intellectual disabilities.