Consumers Credit Union Announces Partnership with Special Olympics Michigan

Scott Sylvester speaks at the Special Olympics Michigan Building Tomorrow's Champions Campaign Announcement

Kalamazoo, MICH — Consumers Credit Union is pleased to announce a commitment of $600,000 over the next 10 years to Special Olympics Michigan’s (SOMI) Building Tomorrow’s Champions campaign, which launched earlier today. This fundraising effort will renovate and transform the former South Christian High School into the world’s largest Special Olympics facility, known as the Special Olympics Unified Sports and Inclusion Center.

“The BTC campaign for the Special Olympics Michigan Unified Sports and Inclusion Center, will provide a world class facility for our athlete leaders to showcase the power of inclusion and community,” said Timothy Hileman, president and CEO of SOMI.

Consumers’ yearly, sustainable cash contribution as one of SOMI’s “Inclusion Partners” will go toward renovations that will convert the 17-acre campus into a home for multiple partnering agencies, including Autism Support of Kent County, Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan, Disability Advocates of Kent County, the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan/be nice., Thresholds, and others — essentially a centralized home for resources and opportunities for people with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as mental health challenges. In addition to the community hub, the facility will be home to year-round training and competition spaces for the nearly 23,000 Special Olympics athletes and unified partners and provide health and nutrition services.

Consumers will also provide marketing and promotional support to promote SOMI’s mission to provide resources and spaces for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to build physical fitness, develop self-confidence and prepare for participation in society. John Shubert, from Consumers’ Investment Services team, will lead Consumers’ volunteer efforts for events hosted on the campus, including regional, statewide, national and international Special Olympic competitions.

“I’m so honored to be a part of a community and company that values and celebrates Special Olympics athletes and their families,” said Shubert. “As a parent of a 10-year-old with a learning disability and other challenges, the special needs community has become a passion of mine. It’s my personal mission to be an advocate for the special needs community. I can’t think of a greater opportunity to be involved with such a prestigious organization.”

“This partnership is life-changing for Consumers, our employees, our communities and our state’s economy. And we’re beyond proud to play such a significant role as Inclusion Partner,” said Kit Snyder, Consumers’ president and CEO. “We believe this space will bring together, not just Special Olympics athletes and their immediate families, but our whole region through the services offered by partners in the project, volunteers and the economic benefits to all.”

At the public launch, Building Tomorrow’s Champions had already raised $6.8 million toward its goal, which SOMI estimates will end up at over $20 million invested in their athletes, coaches, families and our community. Consumers invites their members and the community to join the campaign by contributing at www.somi.org/BTC.

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