INSIDE SOSC: Show Support at the Checkout Counter

Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions, a big supporter of Special Olympics Southern California, will kick off its checkout fundraiser in 345 stores from March 27 through April 23.

Last year, the fundraiser generated more than $1.24 million in support of SOSC athletes. Donations at the checkout counter help provide various services and equipment for SOSC athletes, including uniforms, transportation and facilities.

To learn more about the campaign, please visit

Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions are among the largest employers of individuals with intellectual disabilities, including several SOSC athletes.

The fundraiser is just one aspect of a partnership that goes back 35 years. Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions are the official title sponsor and food supplier of the annual SOSC Summer Games. Employees volunteer to help prepare 8,000 lunches at the Games.

During last year’s Games, the annual Rafer Johnson Breakfast with Champions featured award recipient Andy Barker, the senior vice president of operations for Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions’ Southern California division. Barker, an SOSC board member, was presented with the Rafer Johnson Humanitarian Award for his commitment to the community.

“What Special Olympics does for our athletes and also the parents of our athletes, it is incredible,” he said. “You can never underestimate it. We truly are making the difference in the lives of others.”

Since 1986, the partnership has generated nearly $6 million in financial support and budget relieving donations in food and printing.

Inside the SOSC is a blog written by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.

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