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SOMO Training for Life Campus Campaign Kickoff

For 40 years, our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff have not had their own place to call home. The leaders of our campaign have pledged to make sure the Training for Life Campus will be the transformative place for our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff to train, compete and learn the lessons of sport and life that inspire all of us.

University of Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel (shown middle left) and St. Louis business leader Michael F. Neidorff, CEO and President of Centene Corporation (shown middle right), are avid supporters of SOMO's efforts and cause, and proudly announced their vision for an innovative year-round training facility for Special Olympics Missouri at a press conference in September 2011 in Columbia, MO. The two are joined in the photo by Mark Bussen, Chairman of the Special Olympics Missouri's Endowment Fund (at far left) and SOMO Athlete Brock Guseman (at far right) who are both looking forward to advancing opportunities for Missouri's most amazing athletes with this campus.

The planned Training for Life Campus will serve current and future generations of individuals with intellectual disabilities, and will be the largest such facility in scope in the United States. The 44,000-square-foot Center will be set on 16 acres in Jefferson City, and will offer year-round training opportunities for athletes, coaches and volunteers from throughout Missouri. 

“There are approximately 112,000 people who would qualify for Special Olympics in Missouri and this facility will expand our ability to provide vital health assessments to more athletes. In addition, we will now be able to provide extended camp programs and fitness experiences for those of all ages and abilities,” said Mark Bussen, President of Bussen Quarries and SOMO volunteer coach.

In order to set this goal into motion, a large donation requirement was needed to be met to accomplish this dream of a SOMO training facility. This year, a lead gift of $1 million from the Centene Charitable Foundation was made directly to this cause, making it the largest gift in Special Olympics Missouri history, and an indescribable benefit to the lives of those who make Special Olympics Missouri the exceptional non-profit organization it is. Centene's support is hoped to spark other such gifts from companies, foundations and individuals throughout the state to fulfill the first phase of the $18.5 million project. Support the Training for Life Campus here. >>

"At Centene, we recognized the need to step up and provide significant support and I highly encourage and challenge the community to invest in this once-in-a-lifetime project that will take health, wellness and fitness opportunities for these children and adults to a level never before experienced," said Neidorff.  As passionate advocates for those of all abilities, Pinkel and Neidorff are honorary chairpersons for the Training for Life Campus Campaign.

In the announcement made in September of this facility by Neidorff and Pinkel, Coach Pinkel reminds us of the true mission and value that this organization and its newest effort, the Training for Life Campus, holds: “Athletics provides everyone, regardless of age and ability, a reason to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and into places they have only dared to dream."

Learn how your donation brings you big tax credits and helps build the Campus. >>


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