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This content is a press release from our partner Globe Newswire. The AP newsroom and editorial departments were not involved in its creation.

Special Olympics Florida Earns Coveted 4-star Rating for the Sixth Year in a Row

March 4, 2019

CLERMONT, Fla., March 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Special Olympics Florida has once again earned top honors for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. This is the sixth consecutive time Special Olympics Florida has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

Over the past six years, Special Olympics Florida has more than doubled its impact, now serving more than 51,000 athletes and 33,000 volunteers in addition to providing critical health and wellness services to thousands more across the state. Outreach initiatives include Unified Champion Schools, which brings education-based inclusion programs to 200 schools and 16 colleges; Young Athletes, a sports play program for children ages 2 to 7 that offers valuable physical, cognitive and social skill development as well as resources for their families; and Healthy Communities, a statewide initiative that offers free health exams and health advocacy.

“It is important our donors trust that we are using their financial gifts wisely to accomplish our mission to provide year-round sports training, competition and health exams for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock. “This 4-star rating demonstrates to our supporters our strong stewardship and financial accountability.”

Since 2002, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally-responsible organizations a 4-star rating, the highest rating available. Ratings are based on governance, ethical practices and measures of openness. These metrics reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.

“Special Olympics Florida’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive this distinction. Based on this 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible charity when they decide to support Special Olympics Florida.”

About Charity NavigatorCharity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org, is the largest charity evaluator in America. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. Charity Navigator can be reached at (201) 818-1288.

About Special Olympics FloridaSpecial Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training, competition and health services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be productive, respected and contributing members of their communities. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicsflorida.org.

Media Contact: Valerie Ledford(321)236-0102 vledford@uproarpr.com