The Green Bay Packers announced today they will recognize Special Olympics Wisconsin as the nonprofit honoree for the Packers Give Back Game on Friday, Aug. 19.
The preseason matchup between Green Bay and New Orleans will mark the second annual Packers Give Back Game, which supports a benefiting charity from Wisconsin by highlighting their work and amplifying their message before and during the game.
Hundreds of Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes and their loved ones will receive a free bus ride to the game, as well as food and beverage gift cards, and they'll cheer on the team in a designated Special Olympics Wisconsin area in the north end zone. Prior to kickoff, several Special Olympics athletes will take the field to recite the Athlete Oath, along with a Special Olympics torch. Fans throughout the stadium will be invited to take part in the Athlete Oath: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
At halftime, the Special Olympics Unified Flag Football Teams will take part in a flag football game on Lambeau Field.
"We're pleased to have Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes and volunteers join us for the Packers Give Back Game," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "Regardless of an athlete's ability, being involved in sports and being included as part of a team can be life changing for countless individuals. We're proud to honor Special Olympics Wisconsin for their work in bringing visibility to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion on and off the playing field in Wisconsin."
The Packers recently joined Special Olympics Wisconsin in collaboration with the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Admirals for the OUR TEAM initiative to celebrate inclusion across sport. The initiative is designed to showcase the programming Special Olympics Wisconsin currently makes available to statewide athletes with intellectual disabilities and, through awareness and fundraising efforts associated with the new initiative, celebrate athletes of all abilities in all sports in communities across Wisconsin. OUR TEAM is in coordination with the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics Wisconsin, and with the community's support, Special Olympics Wisconsin is on a trajectory to grow engagement and funding with all communities it serves—not only this year but for the next 50 years.
"When we announced the OUR TEAM partnership in April, we knew it would be game-changing not only for the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin but for all athletes of all abilities in Wisconsin," said Special Olympics Wisconsin President & CEO Chad Hershner. "The Green Bay Packers have proven their commitment to this first-of-its-kind initiative, beginning with naming Packers lineman Elgton Jenkins as their player ambassador and now through the Give Back Game. Alongside our athletes, we look forward to celebrating sports, inclusion, and Packers football on Aug. 19."
For more information about the positive impact Special Olympics Wisconsin programming continues to make for people with intellectual disabilities, visit SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org.
About Special Olympics Wisconsin:
Special Olympics Wisconsin is a statewide organization of the Special Olympics movement that unleashes the transformative power and joy of sports everyday around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics has been empowering people with intellectual disabilities for more than 50 years, leading to a more welcoming and inclusive society. With the support of donors, coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics Wisconsin provides year-round sports training and nearly 150 yearly athletic events featuring 19 Olympic-type sports to nearly 9,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities. Join our online community by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! For more information, visit SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org or call (608) 222-1324.