30 Years: The Spirit of Champions
Special Olympics Canada celebrated the spirit of champions on Friday, November 30, 2012 at the 30th Annual Special Olympics Festival. Eight hundred guests gathered in the Sheraton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom for the 2012 Festival Breakfast, which was hosted by CTV’s Brian Williams and Olympic medalist, Mark Tewksbury, and featured speeches from Special Olympics athlete speaker Tess Trojan and the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).
Throughout the breakfast, Brian and Mark interviewed some of Special Olympics Canada’s celebrity athlete supporters in attendance such as 2012 Olympic medalists Diana Matheson (Women’s Soccer), Rosie MacLennan (Trampoline), and world champion boxer Mary Spencer. During an interview, Olympic and World Champion Speed Skater Catriona Le May Doan revealed that she was been named Honourary Coach for Special Olympics Team Canada 2013. The team is currently preparing to compete at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea in January. After the ceremonies, guests had the opportunity to meet and get autographs from the athletes, as well as pose with the Grey Cup, Stanley Cup, two World Series trophies, and the UFC Championship belt.
On Friday evening, more than 750 guests mingled with sports celebrities and Special Olympics Canada’s 2012 Awards winners alike at the Special Olympics Festival Gala. TSN’s Rod Black and Jennifer Hedger hosted the evening’s festivities again, which included on-the-spot interviews with 2012 Grey Cup winners Adriano Belli and Mike Bradwell, and Ricky Romero of the Toronto Blue Jays, an exciting live auction, and a performance by rising female vocalist Melissa Bel.
The festival has raised $12 million for Special Olympics Canada since it was founded, helping the organization to evolve and expand its exceptional programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This year’s events raise more than $300,000.
The Special Olympics Festival is a celebration of our organization’s champions, from athlete to volunteer to partner. From the November 29 Special Olympics Canada Awards recognizing the exceptional achievements of the year to the Festival Breakfast and Gala, the Festival unites those who have been touched through their association with our movement.
The ongoing generosity of Special Olympics Canada’s Festival sponsors has ensured the success of this annual fundraiser. The 2012 Special Olympics Festival sponsors were:
- Toyota Canada and the Toyota Canada Foundation
- Rub A535