Special Olympics Florida and Publix Super Markets Light the Torch for Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities

The annual Torch Icon Campaign brings awareness and raises money to support Special Olympics athletes in Florida and throughout the Southeast

CLERMONT, Fla., Jan. 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Special Olympics Florida and Publix Super Markets are teaming up once again on a mission-driven collaboration to help Special Olympics athletes throughout Florida and the southeast United States.

From January 12 through 21, 2024, the organizations will hold the annual Torch Icon Campaign at Publix, bringing together Publix associates, customers and local communities to support more than 68,000 Special Olympics athletes in Florida and beyond. The first Torch Icon Campaign was held in 1993.

During the campaign, customers who visit their local Publix can help support their state’s athletes with a donation. All customers who donate will receive over $25 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 $71 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. Publix has supported Special Olympics Florida and its athletes for more than 50 years.

“When Special Olympics Florida was founded in 1972, Publix was there, supporting our athletes from the very beginning,” said Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock. “They have been with us ever since, stepping up and working tirelessly to ensure the success of the annual Torch Icon Campaign. We are profoundly grateful to Publix associates and customers for being part of the Special Olympics Florida team.”

Both Special Olympics Florida and Publix have a long history of working to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Florida offers year-round sports training and competition, critical health services, leadership development, and inclusive programming for its athletes. Publix employs many of those athletes and, for decades, has encouraged people with disabilities to become Publix associates.

“We are honored to support Special Olympics Florida in showing the world the incredible talents and gifts of its athletes and all people with intellectual disabilities,” said Hannah Herring, Publix media relations manager. “The annual Torch Icon Campaign is a highlight of the year for our associates, and we are proud to be part of such an inspiring mission.”

Special Olympics Florida serves more than 63,000 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.

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 and competition, crucial health services, and life-changing leadership programs to people with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers. The organization serves more than 68,000 athletes statewide and seeks to build communities where people with intellectual disabilities are treated with respect and given the opportunities they deserve. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicsflorida.org.

About Publix Super Markets: Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 250,000 associates, currently operates 1,361 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. For 26 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 newsroom at corporate.publix.com/newsroom.

Media Contact:
Chloe Blair
Uproar PR for Special Olympics Florida