Special Olympics Receives $50,000 Grant from the Walmart Foundation to Assist with Healthy Communities, a program to improve the health and well being of athletes!


Walmart Schenectady Store Manager Nasir Khan (left) with Special Olympics athletes: Kevin Brown, Joe Pignatelli, Danny Mastroianni and Walmart Director of Government Affairs and Public Relations Director Jason Klipa.


Donation to help provide health and nutrition services to Special Olympics athletes at no cost.

Schenectady, NY, April 12, 2016 – The Special Olympics of New York today received a $50,000 grant to assist with its Healthy Communities initiative.  The grant—which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program—will work to provide healthy food choices, education and promote physical activity among the more than 65,000 Special Olympics athletes in New York State.  The Healthy Communities initiative is a program that improves the health and well being of athletes through fitness training, nutrition, health screenings and education, at no cost to the athletes or their families.

“Special Olympics New York is excited to partner with Walmart to provide healthy meal choices for our athletes at our competitions across the state to ensure our Athletes have the fuel to be at their best,” said Renee Snyder, Vice President of Development and Public Awareness for Special Olympics New York.

The grant was presented to the Special Olympics during a check presentation ceremony held today at the Special Olympics New York’s Schenectady location on Balltown Road.  During the ceremony, Walmart’s Director of Government Affairs and Public Relations Jason Klipa presented the check to Renee Snyder.  Also in attendance were Special Olympics New York COO Shelly Nangle, Chair of the Board of Directors Patricia Martinelli, Board of Directors Athlete Representative Kevin Brown, Special Olympics New York athlete Joseph Pignatelli Jr., and Board members Heather Dwyer and Rose Johnson.

Walmart’s State Giving Program prides itself on awarding the very best nonprofits throughout the region,” said Jason Klipa.  “We are pleased to support The Special Olympics and the great work they do on behalf of their athletes.”

Special Olympics New York provides year-round sports training and competition in 22 Olympic-style sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the athletes, their families or caregivers. There are 67,162 athletes that train and compete with Special Olympics New York, the largest Special Olympics program in North America.

The contribution to the Special Olympics was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s New York State Giving Program (SGP).  Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

Last year, the New York State Giving Program awarded more than $25 million to local organizations.  In New York, a team of local associates determine needs within each state, review eligible grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application.  Eligible applicant must have a current 501©(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria.  Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and pllication process are available online at http://giving.walmart.com/apply-for-grants/.

About the Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people’s diverse gifts. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Our founder, Dorothy Buehring Phillips, established the Special Olympics New York program in 1969. That same year, New York sent a delegation of athletes and coaches to the Northeast Regional Special Olympics competition in Boston, Massachusetts. Special Olympics New York was fully incorporated in 1970 and Phillips was appointed the first State Director. In June, 1970, the first State Summer Games were held in Rochester.

Today, Special Olympics New York (SONY) is the largest program in the United States and the nearly the largest program in the world. Our headquarters are located in Schenectady, with offices in the Long Island, New York City, Hudson Valley, Capital, Central, Genesee and Western Regions.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://www.foundation.walmart.com.