March 2, 2021

Media Contact
Amanda Antinore Dalmath Associates
(585) 586-6650 (o) | (585) 729-7522 (m)
Annual Spread the Word Inclusion Campaign Kicks-off This Week
Global Day of Activation is March 3
Rochester, NYMarch 2, 2021—The Golisano Foundation is again joining Special Olympics and Best Buddies to challenge the communities it serves to Spread the Word Inclusion and encourage connection. Wednesday, March 3, is this year's global Inclusion Day of activation.

"This year we are building on our grassroots efforts over the past ten years, to focus on the importance of connection and how building relationships with people can help them feel seen, heard, and valued. During the pandemic, we have seen the effects that isolation and exclusion can have on us individually and as a community. When we are disconnected we are unable to learn from each other and grow together. By making connections with others and coming together, even when it has to be virtual, we can make inclusion a reality," Ann Costello, Golisano Foundation Executive Director said.

Spread the Word is a global engagement campaign to increase inclusion among people with and without and developmental disabilities through grassroots action. In schools, workplaces, and communities around the world, people are pledging to create socially inclusive places to learn, work, and live.
How to participate this year:

  • Encouraging people to sign the pledge page online (
  • Send e-mails to friends, families, and constituents
  • Text / call family and friends
  • Use social networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Linkedin
  • Join Spread the Word Inclusion’s social networking pages
  • Send an Evite to friends to take the pledge and spread the word online.
About 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, and civic leader, and founder and chairman 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 $45 million in gross assets, it awards about $2 million annually to non-profit organizations in Western New York and Southwest Florida.

About Special Olympics New YorkSpecial 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).