I had the privilege of joining the Board of Directors of Special Olympics in 2006 and met Eunice Kennedy Shriver at my first board meeting when she and her family hosted Special Olympic athletes and the Board of Directors at her home. The event included sports activities with Special Olympic athletes on the lawn that is known as Camp Shriver. What impressed me the most that day was her energy and passion for the Special Olympics movement as I witnessed her inspire each athlete who participated.
Since then, my family and I have volunteered at numerous athletic competitions with Team Mattel and as a board member. Each time, I am amazed at the impact of the movement on all who participate including athletes, their families, and volunteers from around the world.
It is also clear to me that the values of the Special Olympics movement -- those of courage, compassion, acceptance, respect, hope, and joy - begin with Eunice Kennedy Shriver as she embodies those values herself. She is an inspiration to me everyday in my personal commitment to continue the legacy she began with the Special Olympics movement and to make a meaningful difference in this world.
Thank you, Eunice, for your tireless efforts which have made this world a better place for each and every one of us.