Remembering Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Mr. Timothy Shriver
Chairman, Special Olympics
1133 19th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

August 11, 2009

Dear Tim,

Eunice Kennedy ShriverI was deeply saddened when I received the word that your mother had passed away. On behalf of Lions members around the world, I wish to express my sincere condolences.

Your mother was a champion for the disabled. What started with just an idea and a passion to make it happen has grown into a movement that has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.
But Special Olympics is more than just about athletics. Special Olympics has changed the way people think about those with physical and/or mental disabilities.

Today, thanks to your mother's lifetime work, the disabled are working, the disabled are getting good educations, the disabled are living on their own, and the disabled are achieving. There is still a tremendous amount of work left to do, but your mother, Eunice, paved the way. Now – everything is possible.

As you know, Lions Clubs International and its 1.3 million members around the world, have a deep affinity for Special Olympics. Through the Opening Eyes program, thousands of Special Olympics athletes have received free eye care. Thanks to our close partnership, there are now several Special Olympics Lions clubs forming around the world.

In 2005, your mother opened her home to members of the Lions Clubs International Board of Directors. She was a most gracious hostess. It was the highlight of that year and many directors who attended that luncheon still talk about the event.

This is a difficult time for your family. Please try to take comfort knowing that your mother's legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of people. Her dream became a reality, and our world will forever be a better place because of her work.

Please relay my condolences to your entire family, and let them all know they are in my thoughts and prayers, and in the thoughts and prayers of Lions around the world.


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Eberhard J. Wirfs

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