I was so sorry to hear of the passing of the Special Olympics founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. With her passing we have lost an individual that was able to inspire not only individuals and families, but an entire nation and global community.
Through the promotion and growth of the Special Olympics, Mrs. Shriver influenced an atmosphere for those individuals with special needs that cultivated a sense of acceptance, dignity, encouragement and extended family. The participants and their families were able to gather in a community where all were equal and all equally celebrated.
Her actions also transcended the playing fields of the Special Olympics. Her efforts influenced developmentally disabled individuals to find renewed motivation, equipping them with skills and enthusiasm to participate as accepted and active members of our communities.
Upon this occasion I would like to convey my deepest condolences to Mrs. Shriver's family. I am also certain that they will find comfort in her legacy as we all follow in her inspiration path to help others.
Again, my thoughts and prayers are with the Shriver family and with the Special Olympic families across our state and nation as we mourn this loss together.
William D. Reilich
Member of Assembly