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Special Olympics Northern California To Celebrate 20th Anniversary  Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, Inc., Among Attending Dignitaries  PLEASANT HILL, Calif. ““ To...

Special Olympics Northern California To Celebrate 20th Anniversary 

Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, Inc., Among Attending Dignitaries 

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. ““ To celebrate 20 incredible years of inspiring greatness, Special Olympics Northern California will host the Greatness Gala at the Metreon on Nov. 5, 2015. The black-tie event will feature dignitaries such as Special Olympics, Inc. Chairman Timothy P. Shriver and honor athletes, 17,777 of whom compete year-round with Special Olympics Northern California. 

The Greatness Gala will also recognize some of Special Olympics Northern California’s biggest champions in San Francisco Police Chief Gregory P. Suhr, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner Emeritus Raymond J. Lane, and the Dwelle family, which owns and operates Flyers Energy. A limited amount of tickets are still available at

“We are thrilled to applaud the 20 years of service that Special Olympics has provided the Northern California community,” Special Olympics Northern California President & CEO David Solo said. “Special Olympics Northern California offers these life-changing opportunities to so many talented athletes, who develop important skills and self-confidence and are productive members in their communities. The Greatness Gala is going to be an unforgettable evening!” 

The Greatness Gala will include presentations by Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D., whose mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, launched the Special Olympics movement in the 1960s; John Sasaki of KTVU, a proud supporter of Special Olympics Northern California; and “Voice of the 49ers” Ted Robinson, who will serve as master of ceremonies. Attendees will also hear from Lieutenant Governor and Greatness Gala Honorary Chairman Gavin Newsom and former San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci in prerecorded messages. 

Interviews with athletes and dignitaries will be available prior to and following the conclusion of the main program. 

What: Special Olympics Northern California 20th Anniversary Greatness Gala, sponsored by Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, 

Taylor Morrison, Campo di Bocce and NetScout 

When: Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Doors at 7 p.m. Program begins at 8 p.m. 

Where: City View at Metreon, 135 4th St., San Francisco 


Press Kit: 

Why: To celebrate 20 years of inspiring greatness and honor the organization’s biggest champions in the community. 

Currently in Northern California, more than 17,777 athletes train and compete year-round in 11 sports. All athletes participate at no cost to them or their families. The Greatness Gala will honor the remarkable accomplishments of these athletes and all who came before them. Sargent Shriver hired former President and CEO Rick Collett to incorporate Special Olympics Northern California in 1995. Prior to that, Special Olympics existed as a volunteer-run program with 6,884 athletes. Since then, Special Olympics expanded across Northern California and took over responsibility of Special Olympics Nevada in 2002. 

About the Greatness Gala Honorees 

Chief Suhr and the San Francisco Police Department have been instrumental in raising not only funds for Special Olympics, but also awareness, through the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Since joining the Torch Run, his department has raised more than $250,000 through Polar Plunges, Tip-a-Cop events and the annual Torch Run. Chief Suhr himself has Plunged at Aquatic Park for Special Olympics Northern California. 

“Some people see police officers as heroes; San Francisco police officers see Special Olympics athletes as our heroes,” Suhr said.

Tom, Steve, Walter and David Dwelle ““ and Flyers Energy ““ have supported Special Olympics Northern California since 1998. To-date, they have contributed more than $2.3 million, as well as throngs of volunteers for Special Olympics Northern California events. 

Flyers Energy’s commitment to Special Olympics Northern California centers on encouraging the company’s team members to be directly involved in fundraising. 

Raymond J. Lane is active in promoting Special Olympics’ work to create accepting attitudes among youths and in schools. His leadership in this area has been the catalyst for Special Olympics’ implementation of a youth-led strategy to bring together multiple elements of the Special Olympics movement in schools and create a tipping point for culture change in schools. Mr. Lane currently serves on Special Olympics, Inc. board of directors as vice chairman. 

About Special Olympics Northern California 

Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. There are 17,777 athletes who compete in 156 competitions throughout the region in 11 sports. Included in that figure are 7,160 special education student-athletes who have Special Olympics in the classroom through our Schools Partnership Program. Special Olympics requires the extraordinary support and time of 17,140 volunteers and volunteer coaches. Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. For more information on Special Olympics Northern California, visit or join us at and

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