Special Olympics Florida announced its annual Champions’ Gala, presented by Publix, to be held Saturday, October 14, 2017, at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. Award-winning news anchors for WESH 2 News, Jim Payne and Meredith McDonough will host this year’s event celebrating the organization’s 45th anniversary with a special performance by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Cheap Trick’s lead vocalist Robin Zander alongside elite guests from the organization’s community partners.
The 2017 Champions’ Gala provides an opportunity for Special Olympics Florida to recognize its most incredible athletes, coaches, volunteers, and community partners from across the state while raising awareness and funds for its programs which serve 41,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet and learn more about athletes from Florida who will be competing in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington, next summer.
“Special Olympics Florida is the collective work of so many individuals and groups across the entire state,” said Sherry Wheelock, president and CEO of Special Olympics Florida. “The gala gives us the opportunity to recognize our champions and reflect on all that is possible with their time, efforts, and support, all amongst an elegant evening of live entertainment, inspiring awards, delicious food, and the beautiful setting of the Four Seasons.”
Attendees will have the pleasure of hearing from award presenters including U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings, Orange County Sherriff Jerry Demings, professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic Aaron Gordon, and more. The event will also feature a live and silent auction in addition to dinner, dancing, and musical performances by rock legend Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, renowned symphony harpist Victoria Lynn Schultz, and the music of D.J. Nicholas Armand.
Guests and community partners in attendance will include presenting sponsor Publix Super Markets, gold sponsor Procter and Gamble, meal sponsor Greenberg Traurig, entertainment sponsor All State World Cargo, The Walt Disney Company, TD Bank, Knights of Columbus, SeaWorld Orlando, Nemours Children’s Health System, Orlando Magic, Orlando City Soccer Club, WaWa and more.
In addition, Special Olympics Florida will make a special presentation of its Eunice Kennedy Shriver Award to Procter and Gamble for their more than 38 years of exceptional support to the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Award is given to a recipient who has consistently gone above and beyond in their support for Special Olympics Florida.
What: Special Olympics Florida Champions’ Gala
Where: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, 10100 Dream Tree Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 32836
When: October 14, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.