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Pacific Park to Celebrate Special Olympics Summer Games

The Lookout News

Original Article »

June 08, 2011

Pacific Park will kick off a celebration of the Special Olympics Summer Games by honoring emergency service people with free admission Thursday followed by a special lighting of the famous pier Ferris wheel.

“Our goal is to celebrate and bring attention to the Special Olympics games,” Jeff Klocke, director of marketing and sales at Pacific Park, told the Lookout Tuesday.

The pier’s amusement park will offer four free unlimited ride wrist bands to emergency personnel on Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. to say thank you for their help in coordinating the torch run through Santa Monica to Cal State Long Beach where the games will take place June 11th and June 12th.

Also on Thursday, the price of wrist bands sold from 5 to 10 p.m. to the general public will drop to $10. Proceeds from their sales will be donated to Special Olympics Southern California, Klocke said.

That evening, the iconic Ferris wheel will be lit using the official colors of the Special Olympics and will remain decorated that way through Sunday night.

“We have a long-standing relationship with the Special Olympics,” Klocke said.

Special Olympics officials are grateful for the support

The relationship between the two organizations “has exceeded what we imagined,” Special Olympics Southern California's Web Manager Brian Szczerbinski told the Lookout Tuesday.

Szczerbinski said that Pacific Park would also be giving each coach 2 free unlimited ride passes that can be used any day to honor what Klocke described as “the real heroes of the Special Olympics, besides the athletes.”

Pacific Park has donated much time and money to Special Olympics Southern California over the years.

In 2008, Pacific Park auctioned off the old Ferris wheel on E-Bay for $132,000, of which they donated $65,000 to Special Olympics Southern California.

The fall games, which Klocke said had been on hiatus due to lack of funding, will return this year and Pacific Park has already begun working with Special Olympics SoCal to help facilitate that event, including the Pier del Sol fundraiser, scheduled for this fall.

The summer games at Cal State Long Beach are free to the public.


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