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Anonymous Donor Gives $1.5 Million Gift for Training for Life Campus

Special Olympics Missouri Receives $1.5 Million Gift for Training for Life Campus

Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) has received a $1.5 million gift from an anonymous donor to support its planned SOMO Training for Life Campus. The donation represents the largest single cash gift received to-date for the 44,000-square-foot campus project, which will be built in Jefferson City.

“This wonderful gift is a remarkable tribute to the current 16,500-plus athletes that will use the SOMO Training for Life Campus in addition to opening doors for thousands of potential future athletes,” said Mark Musso, Special Olympics Missouri President and CEO. “This donor clearly has faith in the extraordinary potential of our athletes when they are finally able to train, learn and compete in a place designed especially for them.”

The 16.5-acre Training for Life Campus will be built at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 54 and Missouri Highway 179 in Jefferson City and will serve current and future generations of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The campus will provide year-round training opportunities for athletes, coaches and volunteers, and will be the largest such facility of its kind in the United States. Groundbreaking is scheduled for fall of 2016 if fundraising goals are met this year.

In addition to training activities, SOMO will conduct expanded program activities at the campus, including its sports camps, Healthy Athletes® health screenings and Young Athletes programs for children 3-7 years of age. Sport-specific and other training for coaches and other volunteers will also be hosted at the campus. SOMO currently serves more than 16,500 persons with intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism who participate in its 21 sports. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Missourians with intellectual disabilities could benefit from such programs.

Donors who make charitable contributions to the SOMO Training for Life Campus capital campaign may take advantage of generous tax credits from the state of Missouri. Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits provide a 50 percent savings on state income taxes, as well as additional savings on federal income tax. As a result, donors can benefit from more than 70 percent of their donation being returned to them in tax benefits. Corporations, funders and individuals who own property or businesses can be eligible.

Athletes themselves have launched fundraising activities to support the campus campaign. Donors can support an individual or group of athletes who will earn rewards including “Class of 2015” letter jackets and class rings. Donors can also explore naming opportunities, tax credits or anonymous donations by contacting Laurie Shadoan, SOMO Chief Advancement Officer, at (913) 789-0353. Learn more about the Training for Life Campus at For more information about the Training for Life capital campaign, call Gary Wilbers, TLC campaign chair, at (573) 619-8700.


Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 16,000 athletes participate in 21 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.

Special Olympics Missouri is proud of our financial health returning 83 percent of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Charity Navigator 3-star rating and Guidestar Gold Level. Thank you for trusting us with your donations, volunteer time and your goodwill. Visit Special Olympics at Engage with us on Twitter @somissouri;

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