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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Special Olympics Alaska Sports, Health and Wellness Center


More than 500 people estimated to attend ribbon cutting ceremony in Mountain View with Honorary Guest Governor Sean Parnell

ANCHORAGE, AK- The quality of life for Special Olympics Alaska athletes and their communities will reach new heights when the ribbon is cut and the doors open at the Special Olympics Alaska Sports, Health and Wellness Center Thursday, May 8 at 4 p.m. in Mountain View. The Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Training Center and Campus will provide individuals with intellectual disabilities a place to train, learn and interact with others statewide.

“This facility was built with the vision to continually improve our sports and health programs statewide,” said Jim Balamaci, President and CEO of Special Olympics Alaska.

Out of 180 Special Olympics programs worldwide, Special Olympics Alaska is one of the few to have a facility that will enhance sports, health and wellness for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the numerous contributors and supporters to this project.

“Within these projects there are many unsung heroes, such as the contractors, that have provided us with professionalism and leadership to construct a sports, health and wellness center unparallel to more than 180 Special Olympics programs worldwide,” said Balamaci.

The Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Training Center and Campus will create a legacy that will reach future athletes and volunteers and build everlasting partnerships.

Order of Events

4:00 p.m. Meet and Greet

Welcome by emcees Michelle Egan and Ayesha Abdul-Jillil
National Anthem and Alaska’s Flag Song performed by Laura Witham
Welcome by Lee Stephan, Eklutna Tribal Council President
Performance by the Mount Susitna Singers
Invocation by Father Vasili Hillhouse
Don Winchester, Special Olympics Alaska Board Chair, Remarks
Dan Sullivan, Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage, Remarks
Bill Sheffield, Former Alaskan Governor, Remarks
Diane Kaplan, President of the Rasmuson Foundation, Remarks
Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Nichole Johnston Shares Her Story
Senator Lesil McGuire and Representative Bill Stoltze, Remarks
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, Remarks
Jim Balamaci, President/CEO of Special Olympics Alaska, Remarks

5:15 p.m. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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