Special Olympics Inaugural Celebrity Bocce Tourny at Culver Studios -- Celebs Come Out For Good Cause on Beautiful Day

Special Olympics Southern California hosted its Inaugural Celebrity Bocce Tournament at Culver Studios in Culver City, CA  to raise awareness for “Spread the Word to End the Word” Day on March 31, 2009.

Culver Studios in Culver City, CA



The day was beautiful.  Everything an outdoors lover could’ve asked for.  Beautiful blue sky with the occasional puffy, fluffy cumulous cloud. Guests, athletes and celebrities strolled the lawn dressed in the classic white sporting attire while eating delicious grilled bites and drinking One Hope Wine.

Conscience Entertainment's Steven Yamin and Kristy Swanson


After strong speeches by SOSC President Bill Shumard and former Olympian Rafer Johnson, emcee Jesse “Boy Toy” Lozano of KIIS-FM took over bringing today’s best contemporary and pop music to the greenery.  Celebrities and athletes took to the fields for hours of fun and games.  Film and TV stars Ethan Embry, Kristy Swanson, Joe Mantegna, John Ratzenberger and Lloyd Eisler were out in the sun for this good cause.


Stars Shine in Day Light

Ethan Embry started the day with playful antics.  Clearly having fun and delighting his team and the crowd, he teased the Official as his bocce ball continued to misfire.  Afterwards he enjoyed time with his family.  “It’s fun to come out and enjoy the weather with my family, meet new people, support a great cause.”

Ethan Embry with wife and son


John Ratzenberger was far calmer, but also a fan favorite.  He traded smiles while he waited for his turn, throwing around jokes and trading laughs with the crowd.  “It’s a good cause.  Good people.  We’re lucky to have great weather; to be out and enjoy all this together.” Politely taking pictures with his fans, at one point three people squeezed into a group shot with him.  He reached around them all and delivered a big bear hug!  

John Ratzenberger


When It’s Personal

Today was something special for former-Marcia Brady, Maureen McCormick.  She has a personal connection to the organization and so passionately pressed on about their importance and how proud she was to be involved.  Just as important, was her “new best friend” one of the athletes.  The two girls were inseparable throughout the day.  However, also shy, the talented female athlete chose not to reveal her name for the article.

Maureen McCormick with Friend


Joe Mantegna was excited to play.  “ Bocce is part of my family’s history.  Everyday growing up.  It’s fun to be here and I’m happy to be supporting the cause.”

Joe Mantegna


Among the friendliest stars there was the lovely Kristy Swanson.  She laughed along posing for some pictures between Bocce matches.  Dressed in her Sunday whites, she  showed off the same angelic glow that she delivers in her movies.  

What It’s All About
 
Today was all about Special Olympics Southern California. SOSC offers year-round sports training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and closely-related developmental disabilities. All programs are free to the athletes and their families. By instilling lifelong habits of physical fitness and influencing each athlete’s willingness to accept new challenges, Special Olympics changes lives.  Many new doors are opened as athletes build on their athletic successes and gain the courage to try new things in all areas of their lives- classroom, workplace, home and the community. For additional information, please visit www.sosc.org.

Spread the Word to End the Word: The “word” is meaning the R-word.  “Retard”.  On March 31, events throughout the United States and around the world will make people stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of the word “retard.”  To learn more, please visit www.r-word.org.

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