Michigan Announces Partnership with Special Olympics

Nov. 29, 2012

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced Thursday (Nov. 29) a department-wide community service relationship with the Special Olympics of Michigan, committing team member and venue support to the non-profit organization. The kickoff event of this partnership will be the popular Polar Plunge to be held at Michigan Stadium on Feb. 23, 2013.

"Service to our community is something our team members feel passionate about, and this partnership with the Special Olympics will allow us to help aspiring athletes," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "We plan to make the Polar Plunge a 'wow' experience for everyone involved in taking the plunge. We look forward to teaming with the Special Olympics."

The Big House will host one of the 28 polar plunges held throughout the state of Michigan. A major fundraiser for the Special Olympics, the Polar Plunge raises funds that will go to support the athletes competing in the local, regional, state, national and international competitions. Additional information about the Polar Plunge at the Big House and special activities and incentives will be announced next week.

Michigan Athletics team members will work with the Special Olympics on local and regional events held throughout Washtenaw and surrounding counties in southeast Michigan during the 2013 calendar year.

The Special Olympics serves more than four million athletes in 229 accredited programs in 170 countries worldwide. Since 1968, Special Olympics has grown to become the world's largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sport.

In the state of Michigan there are more than 20,000 athletes, with more than 700 living in Washtenaw County. There are 12 state-level competitions and more than 450 local and regional competitions in Michigan.

This partnership is in addition to the strong community service relationships that already exist between Michigan student-athletes and the surrounding community.

Michigan Athletics plans to volunteer at the following Special Olympics events in 2013:

• March 2 -- District Basketball Tournament at Saline High School
• April 26 -- Area Bowling Tournament at Colonial Lanes
• May 14 -- Spring Games at Saline High School
• July 18 -- Golf Tournament at Pine View Golf Course in Ypsilanti
• July 19 -- Softball Tournament at Canton Softball Complex

Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423