Bank of America Donates $500,000 to Support Special Olympics Team USA for Upcoming 2007 World Summer Games

Country Star Jo Dee Messina Announces Team USA Coaches

Jul 07, 2006, 01:00 ET from Special Olympics

    AMES, Iowa, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Olympics announced today
 that Bank of America has donated $500,000 to support Special Olympics Team
 USA, a group of approximately 400 athletes and 170 coaches selected to
 represent all 50 United States in the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer
 Games in Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
     The announcement was made today, the closing day of the 2006 Special
 Olympics USA National Games in Ames, Iowa, at which Special Olympics also
 revealed the Team USA head coaches for individual sports.
     Bank of America is a long-standing supporter of Special Olympics. The
 company's donation to Team USA will be used to assist in the coaching and
 training of Team USA athletes as well as transporting the delegation to
 Shanghai for the World Summer Games. Additionally, Bank of America
 employees will volunteer at various local Team USA events.
     "Team USA athletes share the same ideals that guide Bank of America
 associates -- dedication, performance and teamwork," said Andrew Plepler,
 president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "We are proud to support
 Special Olympic athletes, and their skill, determination and courage, as
 they pursue excellence at the 2007 Games in China."
     Country superstar Jo Dee Messina, an Official Team USA spokesperson,
 made the announcement. As the Team USA spokesperson, Messina will serve as
 an honorary member of Team USA.
     "Special Olympics is extremely grateful for Bank of America's support
 and contribution. Their generosity affords the country's most inspiring
 athletes with an opportunity to show the world the true abilities of
 athletes with intellectual disabilities at the highest level of Special
 Olympics competition," said Bob Gobrecht, Managing Director, Special
 Olympics North America. "We are also thrilled to have such a talented group
 of coaches to help these fine athletes perform to their personal best."
     Team USA selected the top coaches from various US Programs to serve as
 Head Coaches for Individual Sports where their duties will include
 organizing, preparing, and providing technical and administrative support
 to the athletes and coaches of their respective sport as they prepare for
 the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
     Team USA Head Coaches For Individual Sports
     Aquatics:          Debra "Debbie" Doman (North California)
     Athletics:         Catherine "Cathy" Harper (Illinois)
     Bocce:             Margaret Ann "Maggie" Dittburner (Illinois)
     Bowling:           Dennis Story (Oklahoma)
     Cycling:           Cindi Hart (Indiana)
     Equestrian:        Julie Coon (Kentucky)
     Golf:              Debra Schultz (Michigan)
     Gymnastics:        Renee Manworren (Texas)
     Powerlifting:      Chaka Sutton (Colorado)
     Roller Skating:    Jack Muransky (Ohio)
     Sailing:           Jack Yoes (Texas)
     Tennis:            Nancy Hoekstra (Illinois)
     At the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Team USA will compete
 in 12 individual sports: athletics, aquatics, bocce, bowling, cycling,
 equestrian, golf, gymnastics, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, and
 tennis, as well as four team sports: basketball, soccer, softball,
     The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Shanghai,
 People's Republic of China. The event will mark the first time the World
 Summer Games will be held in Asia, and only the second time they will be
 held outside the United States. In addition to some 7,000 athletes, Special
 Olympics expects the 2007 World Summer Games to draw 40,000 volunteers,
 3,500 event officials and thousands of families, volunteers, spectators and
 journalists from every continent. Special Olympics athletes of all ability
 levels will compete in 20 different Olympic-type sports including aquatics,
 athletics, badminton, basketball, football (soccer), tennis and volleyball.
     About Special Olympics
     Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by
 promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and
 without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and
 athletic competition and other related programming for 2.25 million
 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 150
 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates
 people's diverse gifts. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special
 Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing
 opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness,
 demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. There is no cost to
 participate in Special Olympics. Visit Special Olympics at
     About Bank of America
     Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions,
 serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large
 corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and
 other financial and risk-management products and services. The company
 provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 54
 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700
 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online
 banking with more than 19 million active users. Bank of America is the No.
 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States
 and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company
 serves clients in 175 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of
 the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500.
 Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:   BAC) is listed on the New York
 Stock Exchange.

SOURCE Special Olympics