The Special Olympics of Collier County hosted the Area 9 2015 Summer Games at Golden Gate High School. Over 300 athletes came from all over Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties with more than 150 volunteers. Summer competition included track and field, cycling, soccer and tennis. All events were free of charge. Special Olympics Florida – Collier County, a volunteer-driven organization, offers a year-round sports program that includes training and competition in aquatics, golf, bowling, basketball, track and field, cycling, soccer, bocce, tennis, flag football, and standup paddle, all at no cost to the athletes and their families. The program is possible because of the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who organize, coach, publicize, raise funds, and administer the organization. Special Olympics receives no financial assistance from outside agencies and receives no government funding. Its programs are possible because of generous support from local businesses, organizations, and individuals. Special Olympics was named the nation’s “Most Credible Charity” in a public poll conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and was named one of “America’s best run charities” by Financial World magazine. The organization has name recognition with 94 percent of the adult population. Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 to provide yearround sports training and athletic competitions in Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities. Athletes have the opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and share skills and friendship with other athletes and the community at large. For more information contact David McKenzie, County Director at 239-775-1991 or dMcKenzie@specialolympicscollier.org.