LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 2, 2017) – UCLA Men’s Basketball Head Coach Steve Alford has been named the keynote speaker for Special Olympics Southern California’s (SOSC) annual Rafer Johnson Breakfast with Champions. The breakfast brings leaders of the business and sports communities together to honor the accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes. The breakfast will be part of the opening day to the annual Summer Games on June 10 at the Cal State University, Long Beach Student Union Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Alford has guided UCLA to a 96-45 overall record in four seasons as UCLA’s head coach, helping lead the Bruins to three NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances in four seasons (2014, 2015 and 2017). Alford will enter his fifth season leading the Bruins’ program in 2017-18, his 27th year as a college basketball head coach.
The Bruins went 31-5 record in 2016-17, advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 after tying the school record for most regular-season victories (28, also accomplished in 2007-08). In fact, UCLA will enter the 2017-18 season as one of six schools to have advanced to the Sweet 16 in three of the past four seasons (along with Arizona, Gonzaga, Kentucky, North Carolina and Wisconsin).
Tom Stevens will receive this year’s Rafer Johnson Humanitarian Award. This award honors volunteers who exemplify the qualities of SOSC’s founder, Rafer Johnson: an ability to inspire others, a proven commitment to those in need, and a high level of integrity and respect within the community. Tom, Chairman and President of Los Angeles Capital Management, began his relationship with Special Olympics Southern California as a coach in the 1990s. Since that time, he has been a member of the Board of Directors, and has chaired Breakfast with Champions since 2003.
Individual tickets to the breakfast are $75, but are limited. Table sponsorships are available and are the best way to attend the breakfast and give to Special Olympics Southern California. To purchase tickets or table sponsorships for Breakfast with Champions, visit www.sosc.org/bwc.
All proceeds from the Rafer Johnson Breakfast with Champions benefit Special Olympics Southern California. Breakfast with Champions is the premier fundraiser at SOSC’s annual Summer Games, the largest competition of the year for Special Olympics athletes in Southern California. Summer Games features six sports: athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, golf, gymnastics, and swimming.
The 2017 Summer Games begin with the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, June 10 at 9:30 am. The breakfast follows the start of the Games, with competition taking place on the CSULB campus. Summer Games will continue on Sunday, June 11 with more competition and Closing Ceremony. For more information about Summer Games, visit www.sosc.org/summergames.
About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs. Special Olympics helps athletes become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. They inspire people to open their hearts and create more accepting and inclusive communities. All Special Olympics programs are free to the athletes and their families. Learn more at www.sosc.org.