NGO Funding Request

The recipient entity's full legal name:  Special Olympics Louisiana, Inc.

The recipient entity's physical address:
           46 Louis Prima Drive, Suite A
Covington, LA 70433

The recipient entity's mailing address (if different):
           46 Louis Prima Drive, Suite A
Covington, LA 70433

Type of Entity (for instance, a nonprofit corporation):  Non-Profit Corporation

If the entity is a corporation, list the names of the incorporators:
          Sharon Ann Sofford
Jessie May Dykes
James R. Austin
Gary S. Grand
Dr. Charles C. Foti, Sr.

The last four digits of the entity's taxpayer ID number:  6608

What is the dollar amount of the request?  $650,000

What type of request is this?  General Appropriation

Is this entity in good standing with the Secretary of State?  Yes

Provide the name of each member of the recipient entity's governing board and officers:
           John Guzzardo, President/CEO, 46 Louis Prima Dr #A, Covington, LA 70433
Peyton Lambert, Chair, 415 Bonnabel Boulevard, Metairie LA 70005
Mike Lane, Vice Chair, 621 Tanager, Mandeville, LA 70448
Paul Tanguis, Treasurer, 832 East Boston Street, #14, Covington LA 70433
Frenchie Kessler, Secretary, 2224 Roosevelt Blvd, Kenner, LA 70062
Brandon McNabb, 3315 Quiet Lake Dr., Katy, TX 77450
Craig Blackburn, 3805 Houma Blvd, Unit C210, Metairie, LA¿ 70006
Randy Davidson, 10450 Ellerbe Road, Shreveport, LA 71106
Ashleigh Thigpen, 1831 Royal Aberdeen Ave, Zachary, LA¿ 70791
Jill Egle, 6555 Wuerpel Street, New Orleans LA 70124
Peter Seidenberg, 1501, Kings Hwy., Shreveport LA 71103

Provide a summary of the project or program:
           Special Olympics Louisiana (SOLA) is part of a global movement transforming lives. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to discover their strengths, build confidence, and forge connections. Through sports training and competitions, athletes with intellectual disabilities gain physical fitness, develop social skills, and experience the joy of achievement. Special Olympics Louisiana advocates for equity and acceptance, challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers for individuals with intellectual disabilities. By emphasizing ability over disability, our organization inspires a culture of respect, understanding, and support, creating a more inclusive society for all.
SOLA isn't just about winning medals.

We are a powerful force for positive change:
-Empowering athletes:¿Participation boosts self-esteem, social skills, and physical fitness for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
-Building inclusive communities: SOLA fosters acceptance and understanding, breaking down barriers and creating a more welcoming world.
-Promoting health & wellness:¿The movement provides free health screenings and education, improving the overall well-being of athletes.
-Inspiring social change:¿By advocating for inclusion, SOLA influences policy and creates a brighter future for people with intellectual disabilities.
-Developing life skills: Special Olympics Louisiana helps athletes increase communication, leadership and teamwork skills.
-Promoting social inclusion in schools: SOLA creates opportunities for students with and without disabilities to collaborate, interact and form meaningful relationships, leading to a better understanding and respect for one another, resulting in a more inclusive school culture where everyone feels valued and accepted.
-Continued growth: We will continue to use strategies to increase our reach across the state for sport, health, inclusive education, and leadership training.

Funding will be used for:

(1)Outreach activities:
-Recruit and train more healthcare personnel to administer our health screenings and programming statewide.
-Recruit additional K-12 schools and colleges for inclusive programming on their campuses.
-Offer youth leadership opportunities on a regional and state level.
-Increase sports offerings by adding sport-specific clinics and regional competitions to improve the quality of our sports, with a focus on Unified sports for both individual and team sports.
-Offer additional fitness programming, more wellness activities, and leadership trainings on a regional level.
-Develop high-impact volunteer and coach training to ensure our athletes receive quality support and training.
-Increase community engagement to raise awareness and promote inclusion and acceptance throughout the state.

(2)Staff: Funds from the state would be used as partial matching funds for our existing U.S. Dept. of Education ($750,000) and CDC funding ($180,000) to add regional program staff and college interns who will directly manage and grow programming in geographic regions.

-upgrade aging sports/fitness equipment and uniforms for our over 12,000 athletes statewide. These expenses are currently incurred at the local program level which means volunteers must raise their own money to cover these expenses.
-Purchase needed health equipment that we currently have difficulty getting donated.
-Improved facility rentals for our local programs across the state. It is common that our athletes have to practice and compete in sub-standard facilities due to budget restraints or because other organizations take priority over our programs.
-Technology and communication tools to enhance communication, data management and program delivery for better data-driven outcomes.
-Educational materials to improve skills and knowledge in sports and related areas for coaches, volunteers, athletes and supporters.

What is the budget relative to the project for which funding is requested?:
          Salaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . $345,000
          Professional Services. . . $10,000
          Contracts . . . . . . . . . . . $0
          Acquisitions . . . . . . . . . $50,000
          Major Repairs . . . . . . . $0
          Operating Services. . . . $245,000
          Other Charges. . . . . . . $0

Does your organization have any outstanding audit issues or findings?  No

If 'Yes' is your organization working with the appropriate governmental agencies to resolve those issues or findings?
          Not Applicable

What is the entity's public purpose, sought to be achieved through the use of state monies?
          The Special Olympics has a two-fold public purpose:

(1) Empowerment for people with intellectual disabilities: Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. This helps them develop physical fitness, confidence, and social skills. It also fosters a sense of accomplishment and joy.

(2) Inclusion and Acceptance: Through these events, Special Olympics promotes greater public awareness of the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities. This combats stigma and encourages inclusion in all aspects of society, not just sports.

Overall, Special Olympics aims to create a more inclusive and respectful world for people with intellectual disabilities.

The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public's awareness of their capabilities and needs ultimately affecting public attitudes toward and treatment of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics has evolved into so much more than a sports organization. While sports is key in achieving our purpose, we also offer inclusive health and fitness programs to improve their quality of life through better health outcomes. Our inclusive education programming ensures an equitable place of learning for ALL students. Educating the public regarding the needs and abilities of persons with intellectual disabilities and advocating for people with intellectual disabilities is also a huge focus. Special Olympics is the only organizations that provides the services we offer for people with intellectual disabilities free of charge. Our programs are life changing and positively impact the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

There are several strong arguments for why the government should support the Special Olympics:
- Promotes Public Health: Special Olympics encourages athletes with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports and fitness activities. This can lead to improved health outcomes for these individuals, reducing healthcare costs for society as a whole.
- Fosters Inclusion: Government support for Special Olympics sends a message that people with intellectual disabilities are valued members of society. This can help break down social barriers and promote inclusion in schools, workplaces, and communities.
- Effective Use of Funds: Special Olympics is a well-run organization with a proven track record of success. Government funding can be leveraged to reach more athletes, expand programs, and offer critical health screenings through initiatives like Healthy Athletes.
- Community Building: Special Olympics events bring people together and create a sense of community. This can benefit not just the athletes, but also volunteers, families, and the broader public.
- Education and Awareness: By supporting Special Olympics, the government can help raise public awareness about intellectual disabilities and challenge negative stereotypes.

Overall, government support for Special Olympics is an investment in the health, well-being, and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. It strengthens communities, promotes public health, and creates a more just society.

What are the goals and objectives for achieving such purpose?
          Special Olympics ignites inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities by empowering them to reach their full potential. Through year-round sports training, competition, and health initiatives, we create opportunities for athletes to:

- Demonstrate their skills and talents: Sports become a platform for individuals to showcase their abilities and gain confidence, fostering a sense of accomplishment and joy.
- Become valued members of society: Participation in inclusive programs increases public awareness and challenges negative perceptions. This fosters acceptance and respect, leading to a more inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics goes beyond the playing field:
- Investing in health: We offer inclusive health and fitness programs, promoting better health outcomes and improving overall quality of life.
- Championing education: Our inclusive education programs advocate for an equitable learning environment where all students thrive.
- Building a movement for change: We educate the public about the needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, advocating for their rights and fair treatment.

Special Olympics is a transformative force. As the world's leading organization dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities, we provide these life-changing programs completely free of charge. Our impact goes beyond the athletes, positively affecting families and communities as a whole.

Additionally, it highlights the unique aspect of being free of charge and the transformative impact on individuals and society.
SOLA offers a robust year-round program, fostering inclusion and well-being for people with intellectual disabilities:
- Thriving Through Sports: We offer 14 Olympic-type sports with over 100 annual events, providing opportunities for competition, skill development, and camaraderie.
- Building Inclusive Communities: Through our Unified Champion Schools® program, we integrate Special Olympics programming into over 425 schools and 13 colleges, promoting acceptance and teamwork for students of all abilities.
- Investing in Health: SOLA provides at least 25 health & wellness activities annually. Our free Healthy Athletes® screenings reach over 2000 individuals, offering podiatry, dental, hearing, vision, and physical therapy exams, alongside healthy behavior education.
Empowering the Next Generation: We offer early intervention programs for Young Athletes (ages 2-7) using playful activities to build motor skills and coordination.
• Reaching Out, Changing Lives: SOLA is committed to reaching the over 130,000 Louisianans with intellectual disabilities who haven't yet discovered our programs. Through statewide media campaigns, we share the life-changing opportunities available at no cost.

Together, we can create a more inclusive and healthy future for all.

What is the proposed length of time estimated by the entity to accomplish the purpose?
           1 year (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025)

If any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official is an officer, director, trustee, or employee of the recipient entity who receives compensation or holds any ownership interest therein:
     (a) If an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of the official and the office held by such person:
     (b) If an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of such person; the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related; and the nature of the relationship:

     (c) The percentage of the official's or immediate family member's ownership interest in the recipient entity, if any:

     (d) The position, if any, held by the official or immediate family member in the recipient entity:

If the recipient entity has a contract with any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official or with the state or any political subdivision of the state:
(a) If the contract is with an elected or appointed state official, provide the name and address of the official and the office held by such person: 

(b) If the contract is with an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official:
          Provide the name and address of such person:

          Provide the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related:

          What is the nature of the relationship?  NA

(c) If the contract is with the state or a political subdivision of the state, provide the name and address of the state entity or political subdivision of the state:
                 Special Olympics Louisiana has signed a contract to provide services to the State of Louisiana since 1971, for citizens with intellectual disabilities.

-LA Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism ($175,000-FY24)
-State of Louisiana ($600,000-FY24)

(d) The nature of the contract, including a description of the goods or services provided or to be provided pursuant to the contract:
               -LA Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism ($175,000-FY24): DCRT has provided an annual grant to us for many years. The focus of this grant is on our annual events and competitions which draw thousands of individuals to the state to support tourism. Focus of this grant is on events and marketing/advertising.

-State of Louisiana ($600,000-FY24): This funding awarded to SOLA in 2024 has allowed us to improve our efficiency by technology enhancements, staff salary support, and critically needed upgrades to some equipment and supplies.

Contact Information
name:  John Guzzardo 
                                       address:  46 Louis Prima Drive, Suite A
Covington, LA 70433

                                       phone:  800-345-6644 ext 101
                                       fax:  888-836-2187
                                       relationship to entity:  President/CEO