July is Special Olympics Month in the State of Illinois

Fran Hurley

State Representative

35th District

  • Bill HR0198 RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Approximately 6.5 million people in the United
States and 1% of the global population have an intellectual
disability; and

WHEREAS,  In the 1950s and early 1960s, Eunice Kennedy
Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual
disabilities  were  treated and saw that  many children with
intellectual disabilities didn't even have a place to play;
deciding to take action, she held a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her backyard in order to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities and not dwell on what they could not do; and

WHEREAS, Throughout the 1960s, Eunice Kennedy Shriver
continued her pioneering work, both as the driving force behind President John F. Kennedy's White House panel on people with intellectual disabilities and as the director of the Joseph P. Kennedy,  Jr. Foundation; her vision and drive for justice eventually grew into the Special Olympics movement; and

WHEREAS, The Special Olympics strives to create a better
world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people;
through the power  of  sports, people with intellectual
disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills, and

success and find joy, confidence and fulfillment on the playingfield and in life; and 

WHEREAS,  The Special Olympics hosts a wide range of training  sessions, competitions, health screenings, and fund-raising events for those with intellectual disabilities; the organization also creates opportunities for families, community members, local leaders, businesses, law enforcement, celebrities, dignitaries, and others to band together to change attitudes and support athletes; and

WHEREAS, Anne McGlone Burke, then a Chicago Park District instructor at West Pullman Park, received support from Mayor Richard J. Daley to pursue her vision to organize an event showcasing the abilities of her athletes; and

WHEREAS,  On  July 19-20, 1968, the first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago; a thousand people with intellectual disabilities from 26 U.S. states and Canada competed in track and field and swimming; and

WHEREAS, The Special Olympics mission of empowering those
with intellectual disabilities though sport remains as vital
today as it did when the movement was founded; the athletes,
administration, and countless  volunteers  of the Special
Olympics are worthy of the greatest respect; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF  REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we designate July of 2015 as Special Olympics Month in the State of Illinois in honor of this great organization and its goals; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to the Special Olympics as a symbol of our esteem and respect.