Join the 2018 Club
BY: USA GAMES CORRESPONDENT, MIKE GASTINEAU
The local group organizing the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games has turned to an important source to help raise the $16 million necessary to stage this national competition.
The bulk of the money needed to fund the USA Games comes from corporate sponsorships. To date, the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games has signed partnership deals with a number of companies including Microsoft, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Kaiser Permanente, ESPN, KPMG, The Boeing Company, Brooks Running Company, Starbucks, and Alaska Airlines.
In addition, the USA Games will receive substantial support from the Ginger and Barry Ackerley Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Costco.
The good news is, if you have or work for a company that’s interested in joining the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games as a partner, there are still opportunities to do so here.
But Seattle is and has always been a grassroots town. Decisions, be they political, social, or cultural, are usually made with input from many sources at all levels. The organizers of the USA Games realized this and have created several ways for anyone in Seattle to help.
“One of the primary goals of the USA Games is to provide an opportunity for every person in the Puget Sound region to be involved,” said Beth Knox, the president and CEO of the local organizing committee producing the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “Every person can be involved in some way shape or form.”
Topping the list of how to get involved is the 2018 Club. The 2018 Club was created as a way to allow individuals to become a valuable part of helping raise the money that will offset the expenses of the athletes traveling to Seattle, allowing them to focus only on being their very best during competition.
There are three ways to join the 2018 Club. The Champion level requires a donation of $20,018. Donors will receive numerous gifts including four tickets to the Special Olympics Founder’s Reception prior to the Opening Ceremony and a reserved patio suite for four at Husky Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on July 1, 2018.
The Coach level is for those who donate $2,018 and gifts include four reserved tickets to the Opening Ceremony and Commemorative USA Games credentials.
The Fan level is reached with a $218 donation and includes two general admission tickets to the Opening Ceremony and collectible USA Games pins.
For those interested in supporting the USA Games at a different level, donations of any size are welcome and appreciated.
Finally, for those who rather support the USA Games in a different way there is a need for 10,000 volunteers in just about every imaginable area.
“We need everything from volunteer leaders who are involved in advance of the USA Games to venue managers on site, to greeters at the airport when athletes arrive,” Knox said. “There are opportunities at all levels. We have opportunities for families to volunteer together, for corporate groups to volunteer as a team building opportunity.”
Some of the benefits of volunteering are obvious, but Knox thinks there’s a deeper reward to be gained from helping the 2018 USA Special Olympics Games.
“Volunteers will not only fill an incredibly valuable and critical role in executing the USA Games,” she said, “but they’ll also help provide a face to the city of Seattle as we welcome athletes and families. They’ll demonstrate the message of welcome, inclusion, acceptability, and diversity that are all part of Seattle’s core values. Our volunteers will serve as a voice to that.”
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will embody everything that is great about Seattle, including the generous way we support the activities and events that give our city a chance to shine.