Hall of Fame announces 2024 charity initiative

Seeking to champion and financially support sports-related non-profits, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has announced a charitable initiative for the upcoming year that will benefit designated charities across the state. In addition to promotion and publicity of each designated non-profit’s mission, each will also benefit financially from the success of the Hall of Fame’s major events.

The charity initiative bolsters one of the goals of Byron Shive, who before he became CEO & Executive Director in August 2022 brought a passion to expand the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s statewide presence.

“It’s important to give back to our communities, especially the non-profits that enhance the lives of disadvantaged youth or children with disabilities,” Shive said. “We believe that to whom much is given much is required. We have had quite a bit of success over the years at the Hall of Fame, and we want to give back to charities across the state. We hope that businesses and individuals all across the state will join us in this, as it could make a real difference.”

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is itself a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, and over the years has developed an extensive event-driven schedule that showcases the Show-Me State’s rich sports history thanks to fundraisers such as enshrinement ceremonies, luncheons, golf tournaments, a sporting clays shoot, auctions and private donations.

Under the Hall of Fame’s new charitable initiative, there will be one designated statewide charitable partner that will benefit from the Hall of Fame’s five major events this year: Enshrinement Ceremonies in Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis, plus the inaugural Champions Gala. Special Olympics Missouri has been designated as the Hall of Fame’s statewide charitable partner and will be highlighted at each Enshrinement ceremony and the Champions Gala. In addition to the statewide promotion and publicity, Special Olympics Missouri will receive a financial contribution from the Hall of Fame at the end of 2024.

Additionally, the Hall of Fame will adopt a local charity to partner with at each of the five major events listed above. That charity will also be highlighted at its associated event, with a portion of the proceeds from the event being given to the charity as part of the event. The Ozarks Regional YMCA has been selected as the local charitable partner for the first major event of the year – the Springfield Enshrinement, which is set for Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.

About Special Olympics Missouri

The mission of Special Olympics Missouri is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Thousands of athletes participate in 13 Olympic-type sports throughout the state, providing people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends and communities across Missouri.

“Special Olympics Missouri and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame have had an outstanding relationship over the years, and we’re excited to take things to the next level,” said Larry Linthacum, the President & CEO of Special Olympics Missouri. “This partnership will allow our athletes, coaches and volunteers to receive well-deserved recognition all across the state. It will also allow us to amplify our mission to build confidence in those with intellectual disabilities through sports.”

About the Ozarks Regional YMCA

Established in 1888, the Ozarks Regional YMCA has six family centers – the Pat Jones YMCA in Springfield, the Ozark Mountain Family YMCA in Hollister, the Monett Area YMCA, the Cassville YMCA, the Dallas County Area YMCA in Buffalo and the Lebanon Family YMCA. It provides opportunities for the community to learn, grow and thrive through comprehensive programming in areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

“We are so honored to have been chosen as a benefiting organization of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Enshrinement event,” said Danielle Wise, Vice President of Development for the Ozarks Regional YMCA. “The Y is dedicated to promoting wellness, unlocking potential in both kids and adults and celebrating the enduring spirit of sportsmanship and achievement. We are proud to be a part of this important celebration.”