Special Olympics Florida and Publix Super Markets Unite Once Again for Torch Icon Campaign Benefiting Thousands of Special Olympics Athletes

As Special Olympics Florida gears up for its 50th Anniversary, Publix Super Markets and Special Olympics Florida continue their mission-driven collaboration bringing awareness and funding to thousands of Special Olympics athletes in Florida and throughout the Southeast

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For 50 years, Special Olympics Florida and Publix Super Markets have united through a mission-driven collaboration to help people with intellectual disabilities and provide more life-changing opportunities to Special Olympics Florida athletes. This January 5 through 16, 2022, the iconic duo will once again hold the annual Torch Icon Campaign, bringing together Publix associates, customers and local communities to support more than 60,000 Special Olympics athletes in Florida 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.

As we ring in the New Year, Special Olympics Florida will embark on its 50th anniversary of working to build a more inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Florida 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 Florida helps build more welcoming and supportive communities for its athletes across the state.

“Publix has been a supporter of Special Olympics Florida since the very beginning,” said Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock. “They have been with us since our founding 50 years ago, and they remain one of our most committed partners. Publix associates and company leaders always step up when we need them and work tirelessly to make the annual Torch Icon Campaign a success. We have an incredibly special relationship with Publix, and we are thrilled they are part of the Special Olympics Florida team.”

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 over $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 Florida serves nearly 60,000 athletes who compete at the local, state, national and international levels. In addition to training and competition for these athletes, Special Olympics Florida provides more than $2 million in free medical screenings for thousands of Floridians with intellectual disabilities through its health programs, 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 Florida athletes can visit their local participating Publix this Jan. 5-16. Participants will also have the chance to meet Special Olympics athletes in-store to hear about their inspiring stories.

To learn more about the Torch Icon Campaign, please visit www.specialolympicsflorida.org. 

About Special Olympics Florida
Special Olympics Florida 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 www.specialolympicsflorida.org.

About Publix Super Markets 
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.

Media Contact:
April Evans
Uproar PR for Special Olympics Florida