The Organizing Committee of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games announced Barnabas Health as the newest Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. Barnabas Health will be the Presenting Sponsor of the Games’ Family Programs, welcoming the thousands of family members from throughout the U.S. expected to attend the Games.
As part of their role as Presenting Sponsor, Barnabas Health will provide families with hospitality centers, information, and will play host to various special events. Barnabas Health is also a Contributing Sponsor for the Special Olympics’ first-ever Healthy Young Athletes program, designed to assist families of future Special Olympics athletes (ages 2 – 7) to meet the challenges they face in identifying their child’s medical needs through free educational programs, medical screenings, and family consultations.
“Barnabas Health is excited to be a Presenting Sponsor of Family Programs for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Barnabas Health. “As New Jersey’s largest healthcare system, we are proud to contribute the expertise of our physicians and employees to the success of the programs for families and healthy young athletes.”
The Special Olympics provides families with a support network and the chance to cheer with pride. One family that knows first-hand the remarkable difference Special Olympics can make in the life of an athlete is the McAuliffe family of Cranford.
The heart of “Team McAuliffe” is fourteen-year-old athlete Brian, who competes in soccer, basketball, swimming, and track. Brian’s father, Bob McAuliffe, coaches Brian’s basketball team, and his sisters, Erin and Kelly, volunteer with their brother’s Special Olympics track and basketball teams.
“Special Olympics has been part of our lives now for the past six years since Brian was first eligible to participate. It has provided for Brian the stage to be able to express himself, to compete, make friends and an outlet to be successful and excel,” said Bob McAuliffe. “Children will be identified with academics, some may play an instrument, Brian is an athlete and Special Olympics is a big part of his identity. It is his stage and the place he outshines a family of athletes.”
The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will take place at sporting venues throughout New Jersey, June 14 through June 21. More than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete in 17 sports. An estimated 10,000 volunteers as well as 50,000 additional spectators will be in attendance.
“Special Olympics brings a sense of perspective about what is good about athletics and the spirit of competition,” said Bob McAuliffe. “Seeing Brian being able to compete with his friends and against his competitors and the smiles on their faces is a humbling and gratifying experience.”