A Decade of Ducks!

michaelcourier-thehuestudio-duck-derby-2015-8856For the fifth year in a row, The Huestudio + Company and The Sunshine Paddlers team has been honored to support Special Olympics Illinois and The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby! 2015 marks their ten-year milestone, “A Decade of Ducks!”

This signature, annual fundraiser of Special Olympics Illinois directly benefits the nearly 22,000 athletes and over 21,000 Young Athletes across Illinois. The Huestudio + Company was proud to be a 2015 Event Sponsor! 

View all 2015 photographs in the Gallery below. Photo Credits: © Michael Courier Photography, 2015.

On August 6, 2015, The Sunshine Paddlers team met and staged at Bike Chicago in Millennium Park. Following a team briefing, bright and colorful event balloons, lovingly crafted by Balloons by Tommy, were handed out to team members to herald our 2015 Spectacular Sunshine Parade!

michaelcourier-thehuestudio-duck-derby-2015-8599Our custom team parade sign featured an actual wooden paddle and all team members came brightly dressed in Sunshine Yellow and Paddler Blue, custom “Be Happy!” t.shirts from Ink 4 Your Soul, and Derby-style hats and chapeaus! After all, it’s not a true Derby without colorful Derby hats!

michaelcourier-thehuestudio-duck-derby-2015-8494Led by our 2015 Sunshine Ambassador, Ron Antonacci, The Sunshine Paddlers team paraded together from Columbus Drive to Wacker Drive and along the Chicago River, then crossed the Michigan Avenue Bridge where many spectators  warmly greeted us to Pioneer Plaza, directly across from the iconic Wrigley Building. Michael Courier, a preferred event photographer, captured all the fun and festivities.

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At 12 noon promptly, The Sunshine Paddlers team turned up the music and a flashmob-style dance occurred to “Walking on Sunshine”, all to the delight and joy of spectators. Custom, branded yellow and white beach balls were given to the gathering crowds.
 
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Following the dance, team photographs were taken and a private luncheon, “Dine with the Ducks!” was held at Cyrano’s Cafe & Wine Bar, located on the south bank of the Chicago River. This was a perfect riverfront location and view to witness “Splashdown” and to dine on Chef Didier Durand’s custom and elegant menu offerings.
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“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
– Louisa May Alcott

View photo gallery

Our 50 Lucky Ducks!

duckWe are grateful and appreciative to all of our supporters and “adoptive parents” who have purchased and “adopted” ducks for The 10th Annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby and the “Decade of Ducks” celebration!

Congratulations to our fifty (50) “Lucky Ducks” who have adopted six (6) ducks [“Quack Packs”] – or – twenty-four (24) ducks [“A Flock of Ducks”], on behalf of The Sunshine Paddlers team.

These fifty (50) “Lucky Ducks” will receive an exclusive, custom-curated “Decade of Ducks” gift set, compliments of The Huestudio + Company, valued at over $125/each! Gift sets will be mailed and/or hand-delivered on August 6, 2015, depending on confirmed attendance.

  1. Denise Adamson – Quack Pack x 2
  2. Sherry Allen – Quack Pack
  3. Kim Ball – Quack Pack x 2
  4. Christine Barcikowski – Quack Pack x 2 [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  5. Charles Besser – Flock of Ducks!
  6. Lora Biddle – Quack Pack
  7. Roseanne Bodinet – Quack Pack
  8. Lindsay Brown – Quack Pack [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  9. Kimberly Burr – Quack Pack x 2
  10. Curtis Cheshire – Flock of Ducks!
  11. Gail Cheshire – Flock of Ducks! [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  12. Bonnie Czarny – Quack Pack
  13. Eileen Delisle – Quack Pack
  14. Joseph Delisle – Quack Pack
  15. Roberta Dusek – Quack Pack [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  16. Katherine Dusek – Quack Pack
  17. Robert Elliott – Quack Pack
  18. Janice Gilligan – Quack Pack x 2
  19. Anthony Hernandez – Quack Pack [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  20. Kevin Helwig – Quack Pack
  21. Christopher Holke – Quack Pack
  22. Rich Holke – Flock of Ducks! ++ [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  23. William Holke – Flock of Ducks!
  24. Suzanne Jahnke – Quack Pack
  25. John Jordan – Quack Pack
  26. Maggi Kujawa – Quack Pack
  27. Tina Kunze – Quack Pack
  28. Charmain Marroquin – Quack Pack
  29. Deborah Marshall – Quack Pack
  30. Sandy Milton – Quack Pack
  31. John Perkins – Quack Pack x 2 [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  32. Libby Perkins – Quack Pack x 2 [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  33. Sue Rateike – Quack Pack
  34. Wendy Reeder – Quack Pack
  35. Mike + Margaret Romer – Quack Pack
  36. Modesta Sailer – Quack Pack
  37. Kerrie Schneider – Quack Pack
  38. Joe Schlamotz – Flock of Ducks!
  39. Candace Shimkus – Quack Pack
  40. Dorothy Starks – Quack Pack
  41. Joy Sullivan – Flock of Ducks!
  42. Laura Swinehart – Quack Pack
  43. Shannon Thomas – Quack Pack
  44. Venus Tombakoglu – Quack Pack [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  45. Linda Trelford – Quack Pack
  46. Judi Vallejo – Quack Pack
  47. Margaret Vega – Quack Pack
  48. Laurelle Wallace – Quack Pack
  49. Joan Warunek – Quack Pack
  50. Adrienne Wohn – Quack Pack x 2

One (1) complimentary duck adoption was given to all who purchased a team t.shirt. Please visit The Sunshine Paddlers team site to view your single duck adoption.

  1. Ron Antonacci:  1 adoption
  2. Gabriel Bucataru:  3 adoptions
  3. Joanne Calabrese:  1 adoption
  4. Gail Cheshire:  4 adoptions
  5. Sylvia Davis:  1 adoption
  6. Roberta Dusek:  1 adoption
  7. Ophelia Hernandez:  3 adoptions
  8. Sandra Hoadley:  1 adoption
  9. Rich Holke:  1 adoption
  10. Mona Kunio:  1 adoption
  11. John Perkins:  1 adoption
  12. Patience Paisley:  1 adoption
  13. Feonie Tandoc:  1 adoption
  14. Kathleen Young:  1 adoption

There’s still time to join The Sunshine Paddlers team! Sign up + adopt ducks under your favorite team member! We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, August 6, 2015 as we support Special Olympics Illinois!

Current Team Members for The Sunshine Paddlers [current, as of July 22, 2015.]

  • Ron Antonacci – 2015 Sunshine Ambassador*
  • Christine Barcikowski
  • Lindsay Brown
  • Joanne Calabrese
  • Gail Cheshire
  • Roberta Dusek
  • Anthony Hernandez
  • Ophelia Hernandez
  • Rich Holke
  • Jeff Hughes
  • Mary Luzader
  • Libby Perkins
  • John Perkins
  • Penny Thomas
  • Arman Tombakoglu
  • Venous Tombakoglu

june_sun*Our 2015 Sunshine Ambassador

Ron Antonacci is 53 years old and started competing with Special Olympics back in 1976! Throughout the years, he has competed for Gage Park and Marquette Park Special Recreation, located on the southwest side of Chicago. Ron competed in track and field, basketball, softball, and floor hockey, and most recently he has competed in Special Olympic Bowling and Bocce Ball with South Suburban Special Recreation Association located in Tinley Park.

Over Ron’s career he has won 97 total medals [ 37 of them being Gold! ], including numerous participation ribbons.

Ron attended Southwest Community Services Job Training Center Job in Tinley Park, and through their job placement program, he was able to attain a job at Jewel Osco in Frankfort as a utility clerk where he has proudly worked there for 18 years. Ron is very active in the community and well known by everyone.

The Huestudio + Company and The Sunshine Paddlers team is honored to have Ron serve as our 2015 Sunshine Ambassador!

Lucky Ducks!

duckWe are proud to announce our thirty three (33) wonderful donors who have adopted “Quack Packs” or a “Flock of Ducks”, on behalf of The Sunshine Paddlers team. Only seventeen (17) slots are left for this special promotion*, which concludes on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Adopt your ducks now!

*For this special promotion, only fifty (50) Lucky Ducks will receive an exclusive, custom-curated “Decade of Ducks” gift set [for adopting Quack Pack/s and/or Flock of Ducks] from The Huestudio + Company, valued at over $125/each!

Join The Sunshine Paddlers team today and adopt ducks under your favorite team member!

june_sunCONGRATULATIONS!

[ Adoptions as of June 29, 2015] 

  1. Sherry Allen – Quack Pack
  2. Kim Ball – Quack Pack x 2
  3. Christine Barcikowski – Quack Pack x 2 [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  4. Charles Besser – Flock of Ducks!
  5. Lora Biddle – Quack Pack
  6. Roseanne Bodinet – Quack Pack
  7. Curtis Cheshire – Flock of Ducks!
  8. Gail Cheshire – Quack Pack [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  9. Bonnie Czarny – Quack Pack
  10. Eileen Delisle – Quack Pack
  11. Joseph Delisle – Quack Pack
  12. Roberta Dusek – Quack Pack [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  13. Robert Elliott – Quack Pack
  14. Kevin Helwig – Quack Pack
  15. Rich Holke -Flock of Ducks! [Sunshine Paddler Team Member]
  16. William Holke – Flock of Ducks!
  17. John Jordan – Quack Pack
  18. Maggi Kujawa – Quack Pack
  19. Charmain Marroquin – Quack Pack
  20. Sandy Milton – Quack Pack
  21. Sue Rateike – Quack Pack
  22. Wendy Reeder – Quack Pack
  23. Modesta Sailer – Quack Pack
  24. Kerrie Schneider – Quack Pack
  25. Candace Shimkus – Quack Pack
  26. Dorothy Starks – Quack Pack
  27. Laura Swinehart – Quack Pack
  28. Linda Trelford – Quack Pack
  29. Judi Vallejo – Quack Pack
  30. Margaret Vega – Quack Pack
  31. Laurelle Wallace – Quack Pack
  32. Joan Warenek – Quack Pack
  33. Adrienne Wohn – Quack Pack x 2

SOILL_Duck_City

Current Team Members for The Sunshine Paddlers [current, as of June 29, 2015.]

Ron Antonacci – 2015 Sunshine Ambassador*

Christine Barcikowski

Gail Cheshire

Roberta Dusek

Rich Holke

Jeff Hughes

Mary Luzader

Arman Tombakoglu

Venous Tombakoglu

Purchase a colorful, tagless t.shirt today to join The Sunshine Paddlers team and be a part of “A Decade of Ducks” festive celebration in downtown Chicago on Thursday, August 6, 2015! All who purchase a “Be Happy!” t.shirt will also receive one (1) yellow duck adoption, compliments of The Huestudio + Company.

This exclusive t.shirt directly supports Countryside Association for People with Disabilities, honoring The 10th Annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby for Special Olympics Illinois, a 2015 preferred charitable partner.

Purchase now!

michaelcourier-huederby-2765-7x5

*Our 2015 Sunshine Ambassador

Ron Antonacci is 53 years old and started competing with Special Olympics back in 1976! Throughout the years, he has competed for Gage Park and Marquette Park Special Recreation, located on the southwest side of Chicago. Ron competed in track and field, basketball, softball, and floor hockey, and most recently he has competed in Special Olympic Bowling and Bocce Ball with South Suburban Special Recreation Association located in Tinley Park.

Over Ron’s career he has won 97 total medals [ 37 of them being Gold! ], including numerous participation ribbons.

Ron attended Southwest Community Services Job Training Center Job in Tinley Park, and through their job placement program, he was able to attain a job at Jewel Osco in Frankfort as a utility clerk where he has proudly worked there for 18 years.

Ron is very active in the community and well known by everyone.

The Huestudio + Company and The Sunshine Paddlers team is honored to have Ron serve as our 2015 Sunshine Ambassador!

 

Our 2014 Favorites!

New Image1We are proud to present Our 2014 Favorites in Circles of Color!

As we begin to close out 2014, we reflect upon the past months of special events, successes, learning’s, and opportunities for the New Year. We pause to spotlight select, memorable preferred partners that captured our hearts with magical experiences and unique Client offerings.

Take time to visit their sites and experience their services. Tell them, “The Huestudio + Company sent you!”

Trust us, you’ll be glad that you took time to do so!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, with all your favorite circles of color!

LogoA Sweet Delivery

Discovery Arts-8Not only do we love Sugar Chic Designs with their uniquely imaginative special event sweet tables, but we adore A Sweet Delivery, a petit sweet table in a box! As a preferred partner, Amy DiTomasso has re-created the same magic and elegance of her beautifully appointed sweet tables into stylishly curated gift alternatives for everyday gift giving. Offering custom-branded corporate gifts, in addition to private and special events and weddings, A Sweet Delivery is a favorite of The Huestudio + Company! Send a smile of sugar and style today!  

DiscoveryArts-logo-blueDiscovery Arts and The Courage Campaign

Jeff Huges Portrait PhotoshootAs a preferred charitable partner of The Huestudio + Company for several years, Discovery Arts brings joy, laughter and normalcy to over 3,500 critically ill, hospitalized children and their families through their 100% free, signature “Arts Adventures”. We are honored to support The Courage Campaign through the sale of Louis T. Lion, the Official Lionison of Courage and Ambassador of Heart of Discovery Arts, through our online store, Gifts that Give. Purchase a Louis T. Lion through December 31, 2014 and one (1) additional Louis will be sent to Discovery Arts in your honor.

DSC_5703Feed My Starving Children, featuring PhotoGabi

DSC_6140Gabriel Bucataru of PhotoGabi, a preferred partner, captured the essence and joy with amazing images at the two-day volunteer MobilePack event at Chicago’s Union Station in August 2014. The “Be An Engine for Change” event was a 2014 highlight and volunteer favorite which allowed the hand-packing of life-giving meals, specifically formulated for malnourished children around the world. As a preferred charitable partner, Feed My Starving Children ships meals to over 70 countries around the globe. Consider volunteering your time and donating to this wonderful organization!

logoFlowersFlowers

white-winter-arrangement1The only flower shop to make Our 2014 Favorite list is a lovely European-style shop owned by the talented Joanne Leiman. Located in Evanston, Illinois, FlowersFlowers, a preferred partner, designs the most luscious and exquisitely creative floral arrangements using exceptional seasonal flowers from around the world. In addition to the flower varieties, coupled with interesting textural and whimsical elements, the designs of FlowersFlowers are truly outstanding and a favorite of The Huestudio + Company.

JanBangles0614_133Jan Lewis Designs

Jeff Huges Portrait PhotoshootAs one of Our 2014 Favorites, the exotic and exquisite Fair Trade bangle creations of Jan Lewis Designs are uniquely lovely! We especially love the new Circle of Colors collection and were honored to have collaborated on the colorful and intricate designs. Soon to be featured inside the 2015 “Everybody Wins at the Oscars®” gift bags for the third consecutive year, Jan Lewis Designs’ handcrafted bangles and ties are sure to delight nominees in the best actor, best supporting actor, best actress, best supporting actress and best director categories. Neil Patrick Harris, the host of the 2015 Academy Awards, will also be a recipient.

La Relance SalonLa Relance Salon

IMG_1154While many salons are terrific, La Relance Salon is exceptional in every way! New to Our 2014 Favorite list, this comfortable, yet romantic Aveda Concept salon is creative, classic and contemporary. Offering event styling for weddings and special occasions, their hair color treatments, hair conditioning, makeup and skin care services and specialized treatments for men, women and children are always first class! Book today to look amazing for the holidays and into 2015!

LOGOpdfMaddiebird Bakery

_MG_0361New to Our 2014 Favorites list is a small cake studio + mom ’n pop cupcake shop located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Selected on behalf of their adorably creative, edible artistry with a focus on fun, contemporary cake designs, Maddiebird Bakery’s classic scratch cakes are literally “works of art” and oh, so delicious. As a preferred partner of The Huestudio + Company, you can easily see why we love and adore them! Yum! Yum!

MRP_LogoRife Ponce Photography

Image 1Owned by the multi-talented Maggie Rife Ponce, and selected for the second year in a row as one of Our 2014 Favorites, Rife Ponce Photography captures simple human exchanges and emotions of everyday life in sensitive and magical settings, all while focusing on amazing light. As a storytelling wedding, portrait and travel photographer, not to mention a preferred partner of The Huestudio + Company, Rife Ponce Photography is exceptional in every way! View our 2014 Spring | Summer Magazine to view more of their amazing work and artistry.

CAYENNE.FINAL copyRosemary Fanti

New to Our 2014 Favorites list is the nationally published illustrator, Rosemary Fanti, a preferred partner, who supported a magical 100-year Milestone Birthday event earlier this year for a special Client. Illustrating on-site, Ms. Fanti captured guests within minutes in vivid detail and colorful backgrounds. Her chic and fashionable, custom illustrations are always a guest highlight!

michaelcourier-huederby-3102-7x5 Special Olympics Illinois, featuring Balloons by Tommy + Swirlz Cupcakes

michaelcourier-huederby-2722-7x5For the third year in a row, The Huestudio + Company and The Sunshine Paddlers have proudly supported The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby for Special Olympics Illinois. As one of our 2014 Favorites, the fun and festive balloons by Balloons by Tommy and delicious custom cupcakes from Swirlz Cupcakes, both preferred partners, complemented our mega flashmob-style dance to Pharrell Williams’, “Happy!” to the delight of many along Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue.

IMG_3310Joan Rivers

Whether you liked her, hated her, or loved her, the world lost a comedic legend with the passing on September 4, 2014 of Joan Alexandra Molinksy, known as Joan Rivers. Our final 2014 Favorite is the touching, humorous and poignant last request, shared below. We celebrate a life well loved; a life well lived.

“When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, action…”

“I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way.”

“I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents.”

“I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing ‘Mr. Lonely.’”

“I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag.”

“And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé’s.”

RosesTo properly close out 2014 [ and we’re not planning on going anywhere for a long time ], our final wishes and requests are shared below! May you and yours be blessed!

“Just like Joan, I want to look handsome, better dead that I do alive. I want to be laid out for just one hour in a crisp, white Charles Tyrwhitt shirt with a gorgeous, custom Mark Roscoe tie, a classic Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke suit and colorful Happy socks [to keep my feet warm!], along with yellow Gucci shoes to keep “walking on sunshine”, just like Katrina and the Waves!”

“I want a Celebration of Life that is colorful, festive and uplifting at House Without A Key at Halekulani under the century-old Kiawe tree. I want attending guests to have gorgeous, fragrant leis from Cindy’s Lei Stand in Chinatown and to raise a beloved Mai Tai with crushed ice to a life well lived while dining on succulent coconut shrimp and Maui chips.”

“I want Stefan Holt to moderate any speakers who might wish to say a few kind words in his booming newscaster voice and for all three (3) of the Ponce men to sing “My Old Kentucky Home”, the official song of The Kentucky Derby and the official state song of my beloved birth state, in colorful Derby hats with red rose boutonnieres.”

“I want the talented Kanoe Miller to dance the hula to “I’ll Remember You” and “Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoole, and to end the Celebration by engaging all to dance in a circle, “The Hukilau”.

“I want a scrumptiously designed Circle of Colors sweet table from Sugar Chic Designs and a custom guest favor box from A Sweet Delivery curated with one (1) delicious Swirlz Cupcake, a small bag of Garrett Mix® popcorn, Chicago Butter Cookies twosies, angelic salted caramel marshmallows from Katherine Anne Confections, and Lemon Paradise™ toffee from Terry’s Toffee. I want it to be Chicago all the way!”

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

– Erma Bombeck

#GivingTuesday

“We have it in our power to change the world over.”

– Thomas Paine

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The Huestudio + Company is proud to support #GivingTuesday!

But, what is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a day for giving thanks and to celebrate our blessings with generosity. #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. Join us today [and every Tuesday!] and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of giving and generosity!

Throughout 2014, The Huestudio + Company has been honored to support our four (4) preferred charitable partners through special events, monetary donations, in-kind services, etc. We’ve also created unique and colorful gift offerings online through Gifts that Give, where 30% of all proceeds directly support and benefit these worthy and deserving organizations.

DiscoveryArts-logo-blueDiscovery Arts has been a preferred charitable partner of The Huestudio + Company’s for several years and we are honored to support their ongoing Courage Campaign with Louis T. Lion!

Jeff Huges Portrait PhotoshootDiscovery Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings the healing power of the arts to children with cancer, serious blood disorders and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. The “Arts Adventures” of Discovery Arts bring a tremendous amount of joy to the children and their families. Click here to learn more about Discovery Arts and how you can contribute!

DSC_5703Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. Children and adults [and many of The Huestudio + Company’s Clients, friends and family] regularly volunteer their time to hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children.

DSC_5885-2

DSC_5760A single meal costs only 22 cents to produce + 92 percent of total donations goes directly toward the food program. FMSC ships meals to nearly 70 countries around the world. FMSC has been a preferred charitable partner of The Huestudio + Company for the past two years. Click here to learn more about how you can become involved + make a secure online donation today!

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A new preferred charitable partner for 2014 is One Hundred Pounds of Hope!

Did you know that a 100 pound sack of rice can sustain a family of four for a month?

imageOne Hundred Pounds of Hope is a (501)(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to provide the village of Battambang, an under served community in rural Cambodia, with educational resources and other forms of relief, temporary and long term. Their immediate need is to complete the building of a six (6) room schoolhouse, complete with running water and essential school supplies. This vision will offer Battambang hope for a sustainable future.

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Offered exclusively in limited editions of only one hundred (100) through Gifts that Give, these colorful Circle of Colors handmade boxes are signed, numbered and provide one (1) 100 pound sack of rice to One Hundred Pounds of Hope. Click here to learn more about One Hundred Pounds of Hope!

michaelcourier-huederby-2553-7x5For the past three (3) years, The Huestudio + Company has supported Special Olympics Illinois and The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby through our corporate team, The Sunshine Paddlers! 

Photography by Maggie Rife | www.maggierife.comSpecial Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 21,000 athletes, 40,000 volunteers and thousands more people statewide through 18 Area programs in all 102 counties of the state.

Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Soldier Field in July 1968 thanks to the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her peers. There are now more than 4 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.

IMG_2001Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face. Click here to learn more and to give back!

On this #GivingTuesday, please consider giving to our wonderful preferred charitable partners. We think they all are terrific and very special! Today, and every day, we applaud their collective efforts to make a difference in our world!

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill