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Special Olympics and Publix Kick Off Torch Icon Campaign January 5

Special Olympics and Publix Super Markets again have united through a mission-driven collaboration to help people with intellectual disabilities and provide more life-changing opportunities to Special Olympics Virginia athletes. This January 5 through 16, 2022, the iconic duo will hold the annual Torch Icon Campaign, bringing together Publix associates, customers and local communities to support more than 22,000 Special Olympics athletes in Virginia and beyond. This year, the campaign is reaching new communities throughout the Southeast U.S. and supporting more Special Olympics athletes, making this the largest campaign to date.

Special Olympics Virginia has a long and rich history creating opportunities for its athletes and has worked to change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through year-round sports training and competition, critical health services, leadership development, and inclusive programming. Through a longstanding relationship with Publix Super Markets – that is now 50 years old – and with the annual tradition of the Torch Icon campaign, Special Olympics Virginia helps build more welcoming and supportive communities for its athletes across the state.

“Every day, we work to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are recognized, included and valued as members of our community,” said Rick Jeffrey, president of Special Olympics Virginia. “We are grateful to Publix for supporting this important work to improve positive attitudes and for helping us to raise awareness of the strength and determination that Special Olympics athletes bring to society.”

Beginning January 5 and running through January 16, customers who visit their local Publix can help support their state’s athletes with a simple donation. All donors will receive more than $20 in coupon savings, including exclusive savings on Procter & Gamble brands like Crest, Always, Olay, Old Spice, Gillette and Pampers. Donations can be made at the register during check out for as little as $1 or a specific desired amount.

Since 1993, more than $60 million dollars has been raised through the Torch Icon Campaign, helping Special Olympics athletes to develop their physical and mental wellness, demonstrate courage and experience the power of sports with their family, friends and their local communities.

“As a supporter of Special Olympics, we’ve championed their mission through our annual register campaign which has raised more than $60 million dollars and associate volunteerism,” said Dwaine Stevens Publix Director of Community Relations. “We’re honored to play a part in the good work of Special Olympics by helping empower athletes to discover new abilities and strengths and helping to make our communities more inclusive.”

Special Olympics Virginia serves more than 22,000 athletes who compete at the local, state, national and international levels. In addition to training and competition for these athletes, Special Olympics Virginia provides more than $250,000 in free medical screenings for hundreds of Virginians with intellectual disabilities through its health program, including much-needed access to free prescription glasses and hearing aids.

Those looking to participate in the Torch Icon Campaign and help support local Special Olympics Virginia athletes can do so at their local participating Publix this January 5 through 16.

Special Olympics Virginia provides year-round sports training, competition, health services, and leadership programs to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be productive, respected, and contributing members of their communities. To learn more, visit specialolympicsva.org

Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 225,000 associates, currently operates 1,294 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. For 24 consecutive years, the company has been recognized by Fortune as a great place to work. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website, corporate.publix.com.

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