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SOMO Receives $1 Million Grant to Build Training for Life Campus

Gary Wilbers, Co-Chair of the Training for Life Campus campaign, announces the good news that SOMO has received a $1 million challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation to build the main facility of the Campus.

Special Olympics Missouri receives $1 million challenge grant for Training for Life Campus
Capital campaign in final push toward completing fundraising; Chamber's Civic Progress Committee instrumental 

May 26, 2016

Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) has received a $1 million challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., to put the non-profit one final step from being able to build the Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City. With this grant, SOMO's capital campaign currently has raised more than $16 million in cash, pledges and in-kind gifts.

This total is enough to build the 44,000-sq.-ft. facility that will be the anchor of the campus. This building will include an arena with multi-purpose gymnasium space, weight room for athletes, meeting rooms for both internal and rental purposes, Healthy Athlete screening rooms, state headquarters offices, Central Area office, and much more. It will play host to year-round training, educational and health services for 15,000 current SOMO athletes and thousands more future athletes from around the state. Coaches, volunteers and families will also receive training and find resources available to them there.

Fundraising for the outdoor fields and sports equipment for the Training for Life Campus capital campaign will continue through the remainder of the year. SOMO still needs to raise an additional $2.2 million to ensure its athletes have the best facilities possible --part of which will be from in-kind or contributed services. Final designs are being prepared and construction will begin in spring 2017. The campus construction is targeted for completion by summer 2018. Tax credits are still available for businesses and individuals.

“We know that the Training for Life Campus will have a great impact on our community, and we’re excited about helping Special Olympics Missouri reach its goal to make this project a reality,” says Randy Allen, President and CEO with Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce. “The Campus will truly be a vibrant hub for our community.”

The SOMO Training for Life Campus will be built at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 54 and Missouri Highway 179 in Jefferson City. It will be the first facility of its kind in the world built for the sole purpose of improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

“The Training for Life Campus will be transformational for our athletes,” said Gary Wilbers, chairman of SOMO’s Training for Life Campus Capital Campaign Committee. “Our very deserving athletes will have opportunities to train, get health screenings and develop skills at the campus facilities. They’ll finally have a place to call their own.”

From an economic impact standpoint, the SOMO Training for Life Campus is expected to bring between $227,000 and $378,000 per year to the Jefferson City economy. Families and friends of more than 1,200 athletes who will visit the campus to train each year will utilize hotel room nights, meals in local restaurants and shopping opportunities.

The site of the campus was announced in January 2015, as Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, developers, healthcare providers and business leaders came together to bring resources and support to make this project a great win for the Jefferson City area and Special Olympics Missouri.  The 16.5-acre property where the campus will be built was donated by Farmer Holding Company and Twehous Excavating of Jefferson City, announced during a press conference held January 2015.

Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 15,000 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 its financial health, returning 85 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.

Supporters of Special Olympics Missouri and its Training for Life Campus can make a tax-deductible contribution here. Tax credits are also available for many businesses and individuals. Contact Laurie Shadoan at Special Olympics Missouri at (913) 789-0353 to consider a naming opportunity or to make a gift. You can donate online here.






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