Los Angeles, California — The Knights of Columbus announced that the $1.4 million donation will cover the costs of
food, transportation and entertainment for every athlete from the
two countries during their time in Los Angeles.
The announcement was made by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson at the Los Angeles Memorial
Coliseum and he was joined by World
Games CEO and President Patrick McClenahan and Archbishop of Los
Angeles José H. Gomez.
"The Knights of Columbus were there with Special Olympics and
its founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, from the very beginning," said
Supreme Knight Anderson. "Sargent Shriver, Eunice's husband, was a
friend and a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, and like him,
we are here today to continue those efforts on behalf of people
with intellectual disabilities. Our support exemplifies our
commitment to the dignity of every person, our dedication to
assisting with our neighbors' needs whatever they may be, and our
deep appreciation for the great work done by Special Olympics."
Anderson asked the leadership of
the Knights of Columbus in each U.S. state and Canadian province to increase the
number of volunteer hours donated to Special Olympics this
In a 1986 letter, Eunice Kennedy Shriver reflected on the
Knights' long involvement, observing, "When a great organization
like the Knights of Columbus decides to support Special Olympics, I
know that God is looking after his children."
Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of Special Olympics World
Games Los Angeles 2015, noted: "Anyone that is a part of the
Special Olympics movement is deeply aware of the long and generous
support by the Knights of Columbus, and today's pledge is another
amazing milestone. We hope their donation inspires other
organizations to be a part of what will no doubt be a life-changing
experience for all involved in the 2015 Special Olympic World
The Knights were named as a "Founding
Champion of the World Games."
Also at that event, Archbishop José H. Gomez spoke and
announced the Archdiocese's spiritual support for the World
"The Catholic community is happy and proud to welcome the
Special Olympics to Los Angeles," Archbishop Gomez said. "The
Special Olympics is a celebration of human dignity and a beautiful
sign that our world is truly one family drawn from peoples of every
race and language. We look forward to working with the Knights of
Columbus, and we pray that this competition will promote solidarity
and make all of us more aware of our common humanity."
In keeping with its long history of support for Special
Olympics, local Knights of Columbus councils donated more than $3.5 million to
Special Olympics in 2013. Members also provided more than 250,000
hours of service at nearly 20,000 Special Olympics events. K of C
councils also donated an additional $13.5 million to a number of
other projects assisting people with intellectual disabilities.
In addition, the Knights of Columbus helped more than two dozen
Special Olympics athletes take part in a football clinic arranged
for them with the help of the Indianapolis Colts organization at
one of the Colts' training facilities during the NFL's annual
Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Founded by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney in 1882, the
Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal
organization, with more than 1.8 million members worldwide. Last
year, Knights set new records for giving, with more than $170
million and 70 million hours of service donated to charitable