2018 marks a milestone in the Arizona Department of Public Safety's support of Special Olympics Arizona. This year is the 15th annual DPS Barbecue for Champions, an event held on DPS property, attended by hundreds of employees and community members who help raise thousands of dollars in donations for Special Olympics Arizona and its athletes.
It's Barbecue time!
For many years, DPS has had the privilege and honor to work with the Special Olympics Arizona organization. From the Law Enforcement Torch Run to the Barbecue for Champions, DPS is able to donate thousands of dollars every year to the organization.
For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy. The lessons learned in Special Olympics also impact their life skills. Sports training enhances focus and gives participants a structure for learning important lessons about perseverance, endurance and setting goals. Many people are surprised to know, more than half of adult Special Olympics athletes in the United States are employed, versus 10 percent of intellectually disabled persons who do not participate in Special Olympics.
Over the last few years, Special Olympics Arizona has been able to make amazing strides in what if offers the men and women who participate. While previously being known to be only a sports organization, today, the members are learning valuable skills in leadership. Special Olympics doesn't only create athletes, it creates leaders. Bruce Clarke joined Special Olympics Arizona six years ago as an athlete; today he is athlete, a coordinator on the Athlete Input Council and a Programs Assistant. He has been able to excel in these leadership roles in part to the skills he has gained with Special Olympics Arizona.
The 2018 Barbecue for Champions aims to continue to build on the traditions of previous Barbecues. To bridge the past with the present, a fleet of historical vehicles will be on display along with DPS' current fleet of patrol motorcycles and vehicles as well as the newest helicopter, the Bell 429. In 2017, DPS raised nearly $30,000 through raffle ticket sales and over 800 meal ticket sales.
The goal for 2018? Bigger and better! Help make the 15th annual Barbecue for Champions the biggest one yet!
Thursday, April 26, 2018
11:00am to 1:00pm
North parking lot of DPS Headquarters
2102 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
$10 - will be available shortly