Dear Best Buddies Family,
It is with a somber heart that I write to share with you that my beloved Mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, passed away today Tuesday, August 11.
She now has entered God's magnificent embrace in the same manner that she lived: at peace, surrounded by those who loved her.
Accordingly, my Mother's efforts on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities – particularly her work with Special Olympics – inspired me to similarly devote my life to this shared mission. Through her unwavering faith in their abilities, she helped me – and countless others – to appreciate the fact that everyone is capable of something exceptional; especially with the support and encouragement of friends and family. Through her exemplary endeavors, I learned that this support network is one of the most valuable assets anyone can and should have, regardless of one's abilities or disabilities.
My Mother's lifelong commitment to people with intellectual disabilities also taught me that there is no greater joy than the satisfaction of contributing one's time and energy to the enhancement of another person's life. The act of giving is the most rewarding manner by which to conduct each of our lives. Indeed, I know that my Mother continuously experienced such joy throughout her life.
With my Mother's passing, the Best Buddies family has lost one of its most magnanimous supporters and advocates. I know that like me, many of you will miss her smile, her words of encouragement, and simply her wonderful presence. Yet, I am comforted that her indelible spirit will always be with us, guiding us in our efforts to complete her vision for persons with intellectual disabilities ... for she knew that her fight for equality was far from completed.
On her behalf, and as we convey our last farewell, my family and I express our profound gratitude for your shared commitment to that collective dream. We would be honored if you would take some time to learn more about her life, share your own remembrances about her, and read those of others at www.eunicekennedyshriver.org
. I hope that you will not only read and perhaps contribute to the site, but also share it with your friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, and your sentiments indeed are forever appreciated, please consider making a donation in my Mother's name to an organization dedicated to the individuals she so lovingly devoted her life to, such as either Best Buddies (www.bestbuddies.org
) or Special Olympics (www.specialolympics.org
), in order to help ensure that her inspiring legacy will live on in our mission of friendship.
Anthony K. Shriver
Founder and Chairman
Best Buddies International