Al's Gives Back - Special Olympics of Iowa Oct 2022

Community Involvement

As a small business in the Cedar Rapids community, Al’s Full Service Auto Repair knows how important it is to be involved with our community. We do this by supporting other local businesses and national organizations that help our community thrive. With that in mind, Al’s Full Service is giving back to our community in different ways while highlighting other businesses doing the same.

Playing sports with friends is so much FUN!

I’m sure most of us can remember participating in or watching someone in softball, track, swimming, or many other sports. This was something we did with friends, family, and even made friends from other teams while doing so! As we got older some of us participated in sports after work and even on weekends. But for some this was just not possible due to special needs. That is where “Special Olympics” was created to fill this need.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver believed in justice. But, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she saw little justice in the way people with intellectual disabilities were treated. They were often ignored and neglected, yet she knew they had many talents and gifts to offer. Eunice had a sister, Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability. She and Rosemary grew up playing sports together and with their family. The sisters swam, they sailed, they skied, they played football together. But in those days, there were limited programs and options for someone like Rosemary.

Eunice began to see that sports could be a common ground to unite people from all walks of life. She also saw that many children with intellectual disabilities didn’t have a place to play. She decided to take action. Eunice held a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do.

In 1968, the first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago. A thousand people with intellectual disabilities from 26 U.S. states and Canada competed in track and field, swimming, and floor hockey. Athletes from Iowa were a part of those first Special Olympics Games. Today, more than 5.4 million athletes from 193 countries take part in the Special Olympics.

Providing a lasting memory of loved one's accomplishments.

Al’s Full Service is always looking for ways to give back to special programs. As the guys from Al’s were kicking around ideas for our next Al’s Gives Back program one person mentioned Special Olympics. With a few of us having loved ones that had participated in these programs in the past we all agreed that this was a worthy cause to help. But how? With a little research and a call to Stuart Steffy, Vice President of Development at Special Olympics of Iowa an idea was born! We at Al’s Full Service decided to partner with Special Olympics of Iowa in creating a fund to pay for bricks in the “Walkway of Champions” at the headquarters in Grimes Iowa.

The Walkway of Champions offers you the opportunity to purchase a brick or granite paver (three sizes) which will be placed within the brick ribbon. Purchasing a paver allows you to create a lasting memory for your family, or honor an athlete, coach, volunteer, teacher or friend. Your name, or that of someone you wish to recognize, engraved on one of our brick or granite pavers will signify for years to come that you care about helping people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

So, from July 1st, 2022, through September 30th, 2022, a portion of every dollar spent at Al’s was collected into a fund for the “Walkway of Champions”. In the end because of our amazing customers and our hardworking staff Al’s was able to donate $2750.00! This donation could pay for up to 27 bricks to memorialize loved ones! We at Al’s are grateful for our customers helping to support great causes like this! Thank you everyone! 

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