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News Release

February 21, 2023

Media Contact

Amanda Antinore

Dalmath Associates

585-729-7533 (m)

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Festival of Inclusion Returns Saturday March 4 Featuring 60+ Organizations Serving the Intellectual Developmental Disability Community

Free! 10AM – 2PM at Nazareth's Golisano Training Center—Interactive Creative Activities & Demonstrations

Rochester, NYFebruary 21, 2023—The Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics, and Best Buddies are joining together to host the second annual Festival of Inclusion on Saturday, March 4. The inspirational day of interactive fun, games and education is free and will be held at the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth, 4245 East Ave in Rochester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is part of the annual Spread the Word Inclusion campaign.

"We’re very excited to be bringing back the Festival of Inclusion for its second year,” said Ann Costello, Golisano Foundation Executive Director. “We invite the community to join us for an afternoon of fun, games and interactive activities. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the dozens of dedicated agencies in our region that will be showcasing their inclusive services and inspiring acceptance and advocating for respectful words and actions in all aspects of our lives."

Community inclusion stations featuring interactive and creative activities and demonstrations will take place inside the Center from the following regional organizations:

More Festival of Inclusion Event Highlights

  • Sports activities
  • Adaptive equipment demonstrations
  • Virtual reality
  • Information resources
  • Free t-shirts and tote bags to the first 500 attendees
  • Games and prizes
  • DJ
  • A photo booth for fun photo ops
  • Food trucks located outside the Golisano Training Center entrance

This year's Spread the Word Day of activation is Wednesday, March 1. The campaign was created and reimagined by youth, and is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support of inclusion and to promote respect and acceptance of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

More Information on the Festival of Inclusion and Spread the Word Inclusion Campaign

For complete details of the event visit

The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. dedicated to making the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Foundation is devoted to opening doors to opportunity, changing negative perceptions and stereotypes, and forging unprecedented partnerships to ensure individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have pathways to personal dignity, independence, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes. Founded in 1985 by Tom Golisano—entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader, and founder of Paychex, Inc. —the Foundation “imagines the possibilities,” advocating for families, fighting for their dignity, and giving people with IDD the opportunity to thrive in their communities. With more than $60 million in gross assets, it awards about $3 million annually to non-profit organizations in Western New York and Southwest Florida.

About Special Olympics New York - Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 67,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 170 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).