Brian Kelly, Kevin Dietz, Brian discussed on Frank Beckmann
Is Kevin Dietz. How about some really good news this morning Special Olympics, Michigan debuted a multi million dollar fundraising campaign called Building Tomorrow's champions were South Christian High School will be turned into the world's largest special Olympics facility, the world's largest. Special Olympics. Michigan provides year round sports training and athletic competition to both Children and adults with intellectual disabilities. They serve more than 23,000 athletes and using the help of over 32,000 volunteers. It's very cool. They're raising millions of dollars and they're not done yet. Joining us now is Brian Kelly. Brian. Welcome to the show. Thanks so much. Thanks for having me on it for covering this really, really exciting project. You know, I started on the board just a few years ago but have worked with Special Olympics Michigan for many, many years and could not be more impressed with an organization that touches so many families so many lives. And this is this is a a huge, huge step for the families and the the individuals, the adults and Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That will have a place to call their own. Yeah, my daughter who just graduated from Kalamazoo College, She was a basketball coach for Special Olympics over in West Michigan and my gosh, she had more fun going over and playing with a referee now, or teaching kids how to how to play basketball and to just see the impact personally that this has On kids and families. It's so heartwarming and this this particular facilities over in West Michigan, but it really helps all of the kids throughout the state. That's right. In fact, this really will be. I think the eyes of the special IPIX community around the world will be on Michigan because of this huge, huge steps, see the way that the model normally works. Is that that our kids, they get the use of other people's facilities when they're not using them. So somebody else's facility and when, when it's empty When it's not being used, they say, sure, Special Olympics. You guys can use the The facility. In this case, the special Olympics athletes athletes will be the priority and but it will be an inclusion center is a place where where people with developmental disabilities and those without can come and and play sports together and be together and do all kinds of exciting things. There's healthcare aspects of it, too, in terms of managing the health and wellness of Of the of the athletes and and their families. So there's so many exciting things that are coming together in this spot, but it will be a training center. We've always had good success. Um, great success really, and our athletes in Michigan going on to compete at nationals and around the and and then at at the world competitions. And and having a state of the art athlete Training center is is going to be a big big boost to our special Olympics athletes from Michigan. Because, you know, it's a we think of it in terms of, um You know, it's a special Olympics. It's a whole range. I mean, some For some people, it's it's just being out and with others, and it almost doesn't matter that whether it's playing sports or doing something else. It's time with friends. We have athletes that are fierce, fierce can competitors and they are there to win. And so like the idea that there would be A training center, just like Olympic athletes have training centers, one where the priority is and the specialty is around programming and and training for special Olympics athletes. That is, it's really truly exciting. And it also creates a place where volunteers can come. You have 32,000 volunteers, and sometimes when you have, you know, Well, we're doing something over here and then over here when you have one place where volunteers know they can come and get organized and find out how to help. It just encourages more people volunteering. You guys have a goal of $20 million. How is that coming along? Well so far with Juliet Dragos and I, whose anchor and channel 13 in Grand Rapids. So her and I are co chairing the fundraising campaign, and we we went We launched it publicly last week after we hit $7 million raised, So we've got seven million, um, committed already and and moving forward. We know that that covers a lot of the initial work that purchased the building initial work that has to be done. Um, there's about 10 or $11 Million worth of. You know what one once we at that point, I mean, the the training center is going to be very operational. But when we try to turn it into would make sure that we get all the different. Uh um Activities and field some sports accommodated in this building. Um, you know, at the end of the day, we think the project is going to be about $20 million. So we've got a long way to go. But That 20 minutes. That's $7 million mark that we've we've had was was in the middle of a pandemic. I mean, we we started this really last winter. And I'm sorry. Winter of 2020. And, um And the generosity of the community has really been extraordinary. So we're excited about it very bullish on reaching the goals of the of the campaign so that we won't We won't cut any any corners and making sure that our athletes have the very, very best. And really the secret is to get a lot of businesses to give a little bit or what they can rather than to just get one big corporate sponsor to drop a check. It's It's really just overall better for the involvement of the total project if you can get more people involved. Yeah, so we this No contribution is too small. Naturally. No contributions too big either, But no contribution is too small to um to help with this, And so I really encourage people to go to The Special Olympics website. So s O m I, as in special Olympics of Michigan s so am i dot org and you can learn about everything that the organization is involved in. It really is a Model organization. Uh, the special Olympics is great across the board, but Special Olympics. Michigan, in particular is a national leader and international leader and inclusion sports in high schools, one of the most effective public private partnerships. You'll see anywhere in the world is between the state of Michigan and, um, and special Olympics for for unified sports in schools, and, um, and this is, you know, just the next Cutting edge thing.