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Santa Barbara Named “Host Town” for 2015 Special Olympics World Games

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Santa Barbara has been officially selected to participate in the Special Olympics World Games “Host Town” program from July 21 – 24, 2015. Before the Special Olympics World Games begin on July 25, 2015, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the “Host Town” program. Santa Barbara is one of hundred communities throughout Southern California that has the honor of being selected as an official Host Town.

“The Host Town program is an exciting way for Southern California locals to open our doors and show the athletes and coaches from around the world our hospitality and our culture,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “This is an important part of the World Games experience and a truly meaningful way for different communities to be part of the Games and create lasting memories for our visiting athletes.”

As a Host Town, Santa Barbara will welcome 100 Special Olympics athletes and volunteer coaches from Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and St. Kitts and Nevis. The athletes will have the opportunity to train for World Games and participate in several cultural events organized by a local Host Town Committee of volunteers. The 100 international visitors will be provided accommodations at the Westmont College campus during their visit to Santa Barbara.

“This is a perfect fit for Westmont College,” President Dr. Gayle D. Beebe said. “It so reflects who we are and who we want to be. We look forward to welcoming these guests to campus and to Santa Barbara. We’re honored to host them, recognize their athletic and personal achievements, and support the outstanding work of Special Olympics.”

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will epitomize the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events. Host Town Santa Barbara will play an important role in this historic event thanks to the support of our Host Town sponsors: Montecito Bank & Trust, Pacific Western Bank, American Riviera Bank, Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, Edward Jones Investments, and various community supporters.

Visit the Host Town Santa Barbara Facebook page for more information and updates about this exciting event: https://www.facebook.com/HostTownSantaBarbara

For more information or to make a donation, contact:
Michelle Duke, Special Olympics Santa Barbara
Email: mduke@sosc.org
Office: 805-884-1516, ext. 102

March 26, 2015

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