Alaskans honored as ‘champions’ for Special Olympics leadership

    Special Olympics Alaska will honor its champions with the Third Annual Breakfast with Champions to this Wednesday, Sept 18, from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Special Olympics Alaska Jim Balamaci Training Center. Breakfast with Champions will be a motivational morning that brings together community leaders, corporate executives, Special Olympics athletes, families, volunteers and supporters to honor those who have helped lead the Special Olympics Alaska movement.

    “These recipients really embrace what it means to be a true champion. They have helped lead the Special Olympics Alaska movement in so many ways,” Special Olympics Alaska Vice President/CEO Sarah Arts said in a notice about the event.

    Special Olympics Alaska is an accredited program of Special Olympics Inc., a global organization that has provided sports training and competition to people with intellectual disabilities for 50 years. In Alaska, Special Olympics serves more than 2,000 athletes in 10 communities around the state through local community training programs.

    Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968. Today more than 1 million Special Olympics athletes participate in the organization.

    Alaskans who will receive awards

    Athletes of the Year: Ayesha Abdul-Jillil (Anchorage) and Eddie Escalera (Homer)

    Coach of the Year: Robbie Johnson (Mat-Su)

    Family of the Year: Broyles Family (Anchorage)

    School Program Partner of the Year: Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA)

    Sponsors of the Year: Coca-Cola Bottling of Alaska and Colaska

    Special Olympics Volunteers of the Year: Scott Minor (Anchorage) and Pati Washam (Valdez)

    Ed Stauber Award: The Fraize Family (Anchorage)

    Jim Balamaci Legacy Award: Patti McGuire

    For more information about this event or Special Olympics Alaska, visit or email

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