2022 Inductee: Safeway
Induction summary written in 2022
From as early as 1986, Safeway has been a powerful champion of Special Olympics athletes and inclusion. In Special Olympics BC’s early years, Safeway provided and initiated vital support by teaming up with their partners to raise funds and awareness in stores, and by providing products to feed athletes and volunteers at events. This support was critical at a time when Special Olympics BC was growing quickly and needed funding and resources to reach more athletes with intellectual disabilities all over the province.
When Safeway became part of the Sobeys family, their support of Special Olympics and leadership for inclusion continued and strengthened. To date, Sobeys banner stores across Canada have donated and raised more $6.4 million in food and funds to support Special Olympics. Provincially, Sobeys banner stores have donated more than $1 million to Special Olympics BC, and their support and generosity continues to grow each year.
Today, Safeway creates vital support and opportunities for Special Olympics athletes by running annual fundraising campaigns in store, providing nutrition education for athletes and their families, donating products to feed athletes and volunteers, and providing employment opportunities for athletes nationwide.
As part of their commitment to Special Olympics, Safeway believes in the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their dreams, and they strive to make a meaningful impact where they work, live, and play.
2022 Inductee: motionball
Induction summary written in 2022
Founded by Paul, Mark, and Sean Etherington in 2002, motionball is a national charitable organization that introduces a new generation of supporters, sponsors, and volunteers to the Special Olympics movement through sporting and social events that integrate Special Olympics athletes and young professionals.
Through their inspiring and inclusive events, motionball has raised more than $14 million for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation and Special Olympics athletes and programs throughout the country and right here in B.C. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of motionball volunteers, since 2005 more than $700,000 has been donated to Special Olympics BC.
In addition to their vital fundraising, motionball leads inspiring, far-reaching awareness campaigns that help Special Olympics in our mission to open hearts and minds to the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities and create inclusive communities. motionball’s #NoGoodWay campaign fosters inclusion by encouraging Canadians to eliminate the R-word from their vocabulary and empowers them to get their peers to update their attitudes too.
With their significant success in fundraising, their inspiring leadership for inclusion, and their volunteers’ heartfelt passion for Special Olympics and our athletes, motionball has become one of our organization’s most integral partnerships.
2018 Inductee: Pacific Coastal Airlines
Induction summary written in 2018
Pacific Coastal Airlines has been a significant contributor to the success of Special Olympics BC and its athletes since it first came on board as a sponsor in 2000.
For Special Olympics BC staff, volunteers, and athletes, the cost of flying to an event or function can be a real barrier. Fortunately, Pacific Coastal Airlines helps SOBC bring athletes and communities together from across the province to share their love of sport.
A great B.C. airline, they generously provide a regular schedule, charter, and cargo services to 65-plus destinations across B.C., as well as air travel for SOBC athletes, coaches, and volunteers to attend events all over the province.
Recently Pacific Coastal Airlines has helped many athletes get to Regional Qualifiers, providing an essential opportunity for athletes to compete at these events and have the chance to represent their Region at next year’s 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon.
Quentin Smith, President and CEO of Pacific Coastal Airlines, has supported SOBC for many years and their generosity also includes donations of auction items to our three major fundraising events, the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament, the Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals, and the New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction.
2018 Inductee: Wheaton Precious Metals
Induction summary written in 2018
Wheaton Precious Metals has been the Presenting Sponsor of the Sports Celebrities Festival since 2006, helping this inspiring and interactive gala raise more than $5.5 million to date for SOBC and the Canucks for Kids Fund.
In 2009, Wheaton Precious Metals increased their support by becoming a significant and ongoing sponsor of the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament. The Vancouver-based company also stepped forward in 2014 as a prominent sponsor of the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver. The company also provides SOBC with silver coins and bars for use in auctions, raising even more funds.
Wheaton Precious Metals CEO Randy Smallwood has also generously supported SOBC through his efforts as a member of the SOBC Board of Directors since 2012. In September 2016, he took on the role of Chair and was re-elected to this position in September 2018.
Additionally, Smallwood served as Honorary General Manager for Team BC at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Smallwood attended team training camps before the Games and travelled to Newfoundland to cheer on athletes at their events.
In his speech after being inducted, Smallwood said he understands the value of the volunteer time it takes to make Special Olympics BC work. As Chair of the SOBC Board of Directors, he said that became clear as he talked with most of the other 2018 SOBC Hall of Fame inductees. He said everyone he talked to is excited about what lies ahead for SOBC.
“You know what astounded me, and it was a pretty consistent response from every single one these recipients, was ‘I’m not done yet!’” he said. “It just goes to show, we’re not done, and we’ve got so much more we can do.”
2015 Inductee: Goldcorp
Induction summary written in 2015
Goldcorp began their support as a major sponsor of the Final Fore Golf Tournament in 2005. To acknowledge their significant support, in 2010 the tournament was renamed the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament. Close to $1.8 million was raised through these events for Special Olympics BC.
In 2010, Goldcorp made a $1 million commitment to Special Olympics BC over four years to assist with the development of youth programing. This gift from Goldcorp allowed SOBC to more than double the number of youth programs offered around the province. Now many more children with intellectual disabilities as young as two years old are learning vital social and motor skills and becoming active in sport.
In 2015, Goldcorp renewed their support, and pledged an additional $1 million over four years to continue their support of Special Olympics BC youth programs, enable further growth of those programs, and help with the establishment of new program offerings that will increase opportunities for SOBC athletes to train, compete, and improve their health. Goldcorp is passionate about making a difference for Special Olympics athletes.
2015 Inductee: Staples
Induction summary written in 2015:
Staples became a national sponsor in 2000 and has raised over $766,000 for Special Olympics BC in this 15-year partnership. Additionally, their efforts have built considerable awareness for Special Olympics.
Over and above the annual Give a Toonie Share a Dream campaign, Staples has supported the Sports Celebrities Festival as a national partner and provided gift cards for office purchases to help offset the budget. They also host an annual staff softball tournament where Special Olympics BC athletes are invited to participate on every team.
Staples has made a significant impact on Special Olympics BC over their 15-year involvement.
2007 Inductee: Hart to Heart Croquet Tournament
Induction summary written in 2007
2007 marked the 20th anniversary of the Hart to Heart Croquet Tournament. The annual tournament was held at the Hart House Restaurant on Deer Lake, with all proceeds benefitting Special Olympics BC. The tournament raised more than $1 million for Special Olympics BC over its two decades.
2006 Inductee: The Government of BC
Induction summary written in 2006
The Government of British Columbia has been providing financial support to Special Olympics BC for most of the organization’s existence. This support has grown over the years, enabling more individuals with intellectual disabilities to train and compete in Special Olympics BC programs. Since 2000 alone, the Government, through its grants and gaming program, has provided almost $1,000,000 to Special Olympics BC.
The Government of British Columbia has supported Special Olympics BC for over 20 years and Special Olympics BC is honoured to recognize their outstanding contribution to our sport and our communities.
2006 Inductee: Canadian Progress Club
Induction summary written in 2006
The Canadian Progress Club is devoted to assisting those in need as well as creating and preserving a sincere spirit of friendship. There are 48 clubs across Canada and each club is committed to the advancement of the best interests of the community in which they are located.
Not only do Canadian Progress Club members provide financial support to Special Olympics BC through numerous fundraising activities, but many also volunteer as coaches, or provide support and encouragement to the athletes by attending Special Olympics events and competitions. The Canadian Progress Club – Greater Vancouver has two annual events where the proceeds are directed to Special Olympics, Plywood Cup and a Slo-Pitch Tournament.
The Canadian Progress Club has supported Special Olympics BC since its inception and is one of the longest-serving sponsors.
2003 Inductee: BC Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)
Induction summary written in 2003
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is one of the largest fundraising partners of Special Olympics BC, and has raised funds, support and community awareness for Special Olympics BC since 1990. In the BC LETR’s first year, police officers supported Special Olympics BC hosting the National Summer Games by running from Calgary (the site of the previous National Summer Games) to Vancouver.
Since then, police officers and associated law enforcement personnel have fundraised for Special Olympics BC through innovative events such as the Final Leg Run, Free the Fuzz/Copsicle sits, and community runs. Many law enforcement personnel also volunteer for Special Olympics BC in a wide range of positions, including as special events volunteers and coaches.
Today, with the support of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and a majority of law enforcement agencies, the LETR raises more than $200,000 for Special Olympics BC annually, with over $1.8 million for Special Olympics BC raised between 1990 and 2004 alone.
2002 Inductee: BC Auto Dealers Association
Induction summary written in 2002
Since 1986, the BC Auto Dealers Association (now the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC), has been an outstanding sponsor and supporter of Special Olympics BC. In addition, to the association’s donation of vehicles and resources to Special Olympics BC events, the BCADA raised over $2.2 million for SOBC from the time of its initial involvement with Special Olympics BC in 1986 to 2002 (the time of its induction into the Hall of Fame) alone.
Today, the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC continues its legacy of support, raising essential funds for Special Olympics BC through its annual, province-wide, online auction. For more information on the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC/Special Olympics Auction, please click here.
2000 Inductee: Dave "Tiger" Williams
Induction summary written in 2000
Former Vancouver Canuck Dave “Tiger” Williams led a distinguished, 14-year NHL career, averaging nearly 20 goals a year. He has also been a dedicated and loyal supporter of Special Olympics BC since 1982.
Dave founded and hosted the renowned Tiger Williams Golf Classic for over 18 years, raising over $1.2 million for Special Olympics BC. He served on Special Olympics BC’s Board of Directors for several years, and on six different occasions served as either an Honorary Chairperson or Honorary Head Coach for Special Olympics teams competing in Provincial or National Games. He was also instrumental in garnering support for Special Olympics BC among his extensive network of associates and friends.
In recognition of his support, Special Olympics BC inducted Dave Williams into the Special Olympics BC Hall of Fame in 2000.