Shriver dedicated her life to providing opportunities for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) to become fully integrated in society.
Special Olympics first organized Capitol Hill Day for its constituents in 2005, and was joined by Best Buddies for the first time this year. Together, both Special Olympics and Best Buddies urged members of Congress to authorize The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act. This new legislation continues the legacy of Shriver by authorizing funds for specific programs supporting persons with IDDs in health, education and global program initiatives.
Shriver, who passed away in August of last year, founded Special Olympics in 1968 and was a longtime supporter and board member of Best Buddies, which was founded in 1989.
They discussed important issues in our nation’s capitol.
While in Washington, D.C., Justine and Emilio met with U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka and U.S. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono to ask for their support for the bill. They also took the opportunity to tell their elected officials about the accomplishments of Best Buddies chapters at schools throughout Maui and how students are developing new leadership skills because of the program.
It was a memorable trip for Justine and Emilio. Emilio received Sen. Inouye’s gavel as a special souvenir, and both students spent time with Olympian Carl Lewis and singer Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers.
They also enjoyed a special dinner with Special Olympic Chairman and CEO Tim Shriver and his brother, Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies founder and chairman.