Mourning the Passing of a Legend: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

This morning, when I logged into my e-mail, I had a message from Anthony Shriver, announcing the passing of his mother, 88-year-old Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The world has lost a great humanitarian.

As you know, Anthony Shriver is the founder of one of our family of “OK-approved” charities – Best Buddies. We have a great admiration for him and for his mother, who founded the Special Olympics. Both are avowed champions of children who are intellectually disabled, and we salute them for their legacy, their work and the amazing organizations that have resulted.

I would like to share a portion of Mr. Shriver’s e-mail with you. He wrote:

“…My Mother’s efforts on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities – particularly her work with Special Olympics – inspired me to similarly devote my life to this shared mission. Through her unwavering faith in their abilities, she helped me – and countless others – to appreciate the fact that everyone is capable of something exceptional; especially with the support and encouragement of friends and family. Through her exemplary endeavors, I learned that this support network is one of the most valuable assets anyone can and should have, regardless of one’s abilities or disabilities.”

We couldn’t agree more. Today, we give brief pause to recognize a great woman who celebrated the wonderful things that those with intellectual disabilities bring to this world. May her legacy continue to inspire us, and may the organizations which she founded and inspired continue to do great work for those whose voices were silenced for far too long.

In accordance with their mother’s legacy, the Shriver family members have asked that:

“In lieu of flowers, and your sentiments indeed are forever appreciated, please consider making a donation in my Mother’s name to an organization dedicated to the individuals she so lovingly devoted her life to, such as either Best Buddies ( or Special Olympics (, in order to help ensure that her inspiring legacy will live on in our mission of friendship.”

On that same note, for those who are Best Buddies supporters, we are helping raise funds to create a Best Buddies Citizen Utah Chapter at a breakfast on August 19. We will match any donation (up to $50) given through August 19. Simply click here and select “Best Buddies Citizen Utah Breakfast.” You also will have the option to make the donation in memory of someone, if you wish to make a donation in Eunice Kennedy’s memory.  We will ensure the message gets to Mr.  Shriver.

May God bless a woman who touched so many lives for the better.



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Filed under Initiative: Thought Leadership

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