Safeway and Sobeys Revealed as Mystery Sponsor for Special Olympics’ Mystery Match Draft Day

Safeway and Sobeys Revealed as Mystery Sponsor for Special Olympics’ Mystery Match Draft Day

Diamond Level Sponsorship Also Announced

THUNDER BAY, ON, November 21, 2019  – The Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020 team excitedly revealed Safeway as the mystery sponsor of Mystery Match Draft Day at the day’s wrap-up event Thursday. Safeway committed to matching every athlete drafted on November 21 up to a maximum of 50 athletes (a $25,000 value). Games organizers also announced that Safeway’s support will continue with an additional $50,000 contribution, earning them recognition as a Diamond Sponsor and the role of Presenting Sponsor for the Opening Ceremonies.

“We are incredibly grateful for the multi-tiered support from our friends at Safeway and Sobeys,” said Barry Streib, Chair of the Games Organizing Committee. “Safeway and Sobeys are longstanding allies of Special Olympics programs across the country, engaging in year-round fundraising, regularly sponsoring events, proudly employing athletes, and building an award-winning nutrition series for athletes, coaches and caregivers. The Safeway team has a tremendous presence in Thunder Bay, making them a natural partner for the 2020 Games. Their considerable investment in our athletes and the Games is just one more example of their continued commitment to Special Olympics.”

Representatives from Safeway and Sobeys were on-hand to celebrate in the results of the Mystery Match Draft Day and to help build further excitement in the community for the Games by announcing their additional contribution. “Our team is thrilled to sponsor the Special Olympics Canada 2020 National Winter Games in Thunder Bay,” said Renée Hopfner, Director Community Investment at Sobeys Inc. “We are so inspired by the athletes and look forward to supporting each of them and their families as they reach for their athletic dreams. Our Safeway stores will be on-site throughout the Games to fuel their performance and cheer on the athletes at every moment along the way.”

Warren Giertuga, Chair of the Draft an Athlete program, couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the Mystery Match Draft Day. “Thanks to Safeway and members of our community, we successfully raised $98,772, drafting 197 athletes,” he said. “That’s on top of the additional $50,000 Safeway contributed today. Each dollar collected has gotten us one step closer to making sure every athlete has the opportunity to live their dream of participating in the Games.”

Giertuga added that though Mystery Match Draft Day is over, there is still time to Draft an Athlete. “We have a goal of reaching $300,000 with this program and we are making great progress, but still have more work to do,” he said. “We hope that Safeway’s support today will have a lasting impact and inspire more individuals and organizations in the community to Draft an Athlete.”

All that it takes to participate in the Draft an Athlete program is to donate or fundraise $500 per athlete. Each contribution will help to cover athlete expenses including but not limited to travel, food and accommodations, making a profound difference in the life of an athlete.

Organizers acknowledged and thanked additional event supporters 99.9 The Bay, Country 105 and The Chanterelle on Park.

For more information about the Games and to Draft an Athlete, visit

About The Games

The Special Olympics Canada Winter Games are a multi-sport national event for athletes with an intellectual disability. The Games will be hosted in Thunder Bay, Ontario from February 25 to 29, 2020 and will welcome over 1,200 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across Canada. The Games will include competition in eight official Special Olympics sports: alpine skiing, five-pin bowling, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating. These national games are the qualifying event for athletes to become members of Team Canada attending the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Learn more at

For more information, please contact:

Doug Henry
Games Manager, Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020
Email: or
Phone: (807) 633-1516

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