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Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets was recently honored with the 2008 "Spirit of Special Olympics" award, during Special Olympics Florida's annual Gold, Silver, and Bronze Gala in Orlando. The award is given annually to an individual or organization that works to support the mission of Special Olympics and to enrich the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Publix was recognized for being the single longest-standing sponsor in the history of Special Olympics Florida.
Accepting on behalf of Publix was Maria Brous, director of media and community relations, and Publix associate and Special Olympics athlete Chris Friedman of Altamonte Springs, Fla.
A supporter of Special Olympics for 36 years, Publix serves as a major sponsor of the program in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina, and has an industry-leading history of hiring people with intellectual disabilities, many of whom participate in Special Olympics, according to the Special Olympics.
Thanks to the efforts of Publix associates and the generosity of Publix customers, over the past 14 years, Publix has raised nearly $12 million for the charity.