Media Advisory
Golisano Foundation
Dalmath Associates (585) 586-6650
Amanda Antinore (585 729-7533
Today! Spread the Word to End the R-Word Day Pledge Activities Going on All Across Community
Press Conference and Proclamations at
Bishop Kearney High School at 10:20AM
State of New York, Monroe County, City of Rochester, Hospitals, High Schools, Sports Teams, Colleges, Businesses and More Organizations Planning Pledge Campaigns and Events
Rochester, NY -- March 7, 2018 -- Today is the national day of awareness to Spread the Word to End the R-Word™. For the eighth year, a record number of organizations will join the Golisano Foundation asking people to pledge to take a stand against using the R-word, "retard" or "retarded," a word that is offensive and derogatory to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Rochester movement has become one of the largest in the country.

Spread the Word to End the Word was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics International and Best Buddies .

The goal is to promote more inclusive communities for people with disabilities and special needs, and reach out to more people who can spread the word and pledge to use respectful language that promotes more accepting attitudes for all people. The R-Word initiative also helps celebrate the unique gifts and talents that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and can share with the world.
Press Conference
Bishop Kearney High School will host a press conference where the New York State, Monroe County, the City of Rochester, and the Town of Irondequoit will proclaim the day "End the R-word Day".

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 10:20 to 11:15 a.m.
Bishop Kearney High School,125 Kings Hwy S., Rochester
Parking available in front loop; Media to be escorted to auditorium by Bishop Kearney High School students.

  • Conor McMahon, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
  • Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo
  • City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren
  • David Seeley, Irondequoit Town Supervisor
  • Steve Salluzzo, President, Bishop Kearney High School
  • Evalyn Gleason, Golisano Foundation
  • Amber Hush, Best Buddies Rochester
  • Bishop Kearney High School students

Golisano Foundation: Amanda Antinore (585) 729-7533
Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo: Conor McMahon (585) 478-1333
Monroe County: John Dedes (585) 753-1089
City of Rochester: Tiana Stephens (585) 428-6678
Bishop Kearney: Steve Salluzzo (585) 342-4000
Town of Irondequoit: Lauren Kelly (585) 336-6039
Highlights of Other R-Word Activities
The following Rochester organizations will be Spreading the Word to End the Word with pledge activities on site, email, social media campaigns and more:

Today – March 7:

  • 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Nazareth College pledge signing, Café Sorelle (located in the Golisano Academic Center), 4245 East Ave., Rochester.
  • On-site media contact: Evalyn Gleason (585) 255-0912 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Rochester Museum and Science Center pledge signing, 657 East Ave., Rochester.
  • On-site media contacts: Hannah Barry (585) 271-4552 x247; Evalyn Gleason (585) 255-0912 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

  • 10 a.m to 2 p.m. - University of Rochester Medical Center pledge signing at Café 601 at Strong (601 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, located on the first floor of the hospital by the red elevators) and Eastman Dental lobby (625 Elmwood Ave., Rochester)
  • On-site media contacts: URMC Sean Dobbin (585) 739-9529; Golisano Foundation Evalyn Gleason (585) 255-0912 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.; Eastman Dental Virginia Yanez Fontenla (585) 831-6101

  • 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. - The Strong National Museum of Play pledge signing, 1 Manhattan Square Dr., Rochester.
  • Museum general admission – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • “The Happiest Hour” after-hours event – 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (21 and over).
  • On-site media contacts: Crisandra Harrison or Kate Whitman; Evalyn Gleason (585) 255-0912

  • 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. - Nativity Prep Academy Assembly,15 Whalin St, Rochester. Evalyn Gleason, Golisano Foundation, and Best Buddy speaking.
  • On-site media contacts: Ginny Lenick (585) 271-1630; Evalyn Gleason (585) 255-0912 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • 7:05 p.m. - Rochester RazorSharks game pledge signing, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester.

More Events this Month:

  • March 8 - 4 to 6 p.m.: Spread the Word Event at Gigi’s Playhouse, 372 North Goodman St., Rochester.
  • On-site media contact: Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies

  • March 8 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Everybuddies Choir Performance, Wilmot Recital Hall at the Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Ave, Rochester.

  • March 9 - Nazareth College Light it up Blue. Wear blue on campus to show your support for disability awareness. 4245 East Ave., Rochester.

  • March 9 - 7:05 p.m. - Amerks game pledge signing, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester.
  • On-site media contacts: Evalyn Gleason, Golisano Foundation; Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies; Nicole Richardson (585) 286-9934, Amerks

  • March 11 - 3:05 p.m. - Amerks game pledge signing, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester.
  • On-site media contacts: Evalyn Gleason (585) 255-0912, Golisano Foundation; Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies; Nicole Richardson (585) 286-9934, Amerks

  • March 14 - 4 to 8 p.m.: Happy Hour at Swiftwater Brewery, 378 Mt Hope Ave., Rochester. $1 off drafts, pledge signing, t-shirt give away.
  • On-site media contact: Jim Rosette (585) 530-3471

  • March 23 - 4 p.m.: Spread the Word Amerks Game, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester. Banners and promotion throughout the game. Open skate for kids and families from 4 to 6:30 p.m.; game starts at 7:05 p.m.
  • On-site media contacts: Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies; Nicole Richardson (585) 286-9934, Amerks
Friends of the Golisano Foundation that are participating outside Rochester:

  • Best Buddies New York (covers areas from New York City to Buffalo)
  • Lee Health Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida
  • Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
  • University at Buffalo
  • Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital
Video Message from Tom Golisano
How to Organize a Pledge Event
Go to   and take the pledge, and to get information and resources on how to Spread the word to end the word in schools, companies and organizations.

Email the Foundation with Pledge Activities
The Foundation will recognize those organizations that are spreading the word on the   web site. To be included organizations should send an email to

Social Media
The Foundation will also be following along on social media. Tag us in your pictures and tweets on  Facebook  and  Twitter  and   Instagram using the hashtags #respect, #rword, and #RocRespect.
About Golisano Foundation
The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1985 with an initial gift of $90,000 from B. Thomas Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex, the Foundation now has more than $40 million in gross assets, has awarded more than $24 million in grants, about $2 million annually, primarily to non-profit organizations in a multi-county region surrounding Rochester, NY.
The Golisano Foundation is committed to opening doors, changing perceptions, and forging unprecedented partnerships in pursuit of the goal to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with pathways to self-sufficiency, personal dignity, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes. 

Through our targeted initiatives, it is our vision that communities will encourage and commit to inclusion, acceptance and opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and provide services that empower individuals to make their way productively and creatively in their communities. In addition to providing funding, the Foundation also serves as a proactive partner with organizations that serve people with intellectual disabilities, working together to promote acceptance and inclusion in the community and workplace.  
For more information see .
Spread the Word to End the Word
Spread the Word to End the Word was founded in 2009 and is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics (SO), Best Buddies and SO supporters to inspire respect and acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the R-word and how hurtful words and disrespect can be toward people with intellectual disabilities.The campaign, created by youth, is intended to engage schools and organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at   and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.