Special Olympics Massachusetts receives $2.5 million gift for Yawkey Center

The Stevens family, (l to r) Brian Mathias, Brian Stevens, Kathryn Stevens and Samantha Stevens (seated) pull the cord to unveil the portrait of Samantha in the lobby of the Special Olympics Massachusetts headquarters in Marlborough. Photo/Submitted

Marlborough – Marlborough residents Brian and Kathryn Stevens honored their daughter, Samantha, by donating $2.5 million to help fund the Special Olympics Massachusetts headquarters in Marlborough.

Special Olympics Massachusetts, a leader in providing healthy lifestyles through sports and healthcare-related programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, held a dedication ceremony Dec. 15 at the Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough with the Stevens family, as well as several city and state officials in attendance.

“We have already seen how Special Olympics programs will change Samantha's life,” said Brian, “and we want to ensure these vital programs are here for not only Samantha, but many others for many years to come.”

Samantha, who just started participating in the Young Athletes Program that Special Olympics offers for children ages 4 to 7, will have her portrait hung in the lobby of the Yawkey Sports Training Center permanently.

She has already participated in various Special Olympics programs and has received highly specialized medical care as a direct result of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative.

Robert A. Johnson, president and CEO of Special Olympics Massachusetts, appreciates the donation.

“We are grateful for the tremendous gift that the Stevens family has provided this organization,” Johnson said, “and are pleased and proud to dedicate the lobby of the Yawkey Sports Training Center to their wonderful daughter Samantha.”

The 25,000-square-foot Yawkey Sports Training Center not only serves as the official headquarters of Special Olympics Massachusetts but is also utilized to learn, research and address the unique healthcare needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The center has a full-size gym, a 40-by-30-yard soccer field, computer training facilities, video conferencing capabilities, and five multipurpose conference rooms. It is located at 512 Forest St. in Marlborough.