Publix Super Markets Light the Torch for Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities

The annual Torch Icon Campaign at Publix brings awareness and raises money to support Special Olympics athletes throughout the southeast United States

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Special Olympics Florida and Publix Super Markets are teaming up once again on a mission-driven collaboration to help Special Olympics athletes throughout the southeast United States.

From January 11 through 22, 2023, the organizations will hold the annual Torch Icon Campaign, bringing together Publix associates, customers and local communities to support more than 60,000 Special Olympics athletes in Florida and beyond. The campaign began in 1993.

During the campaign, customers who visit their local Publix can help support their state’s athletes with a simple donation. All donors will receive over $27 in coupon savings, including exclusive savings on Procter & Gamble brands like Crest, Always, Olay, Old Spice, Gillette and Pampers.  Donations can be made at the register during check out for as little as $1 or a specific desired amount. 

Since 1993, more than $65 million dollars has been raised through the Torch Icon Campaign, helping Special Olympics athletes to develop their physical and mental wellness, demonstrate courage and experience the power of sports with their family, friends and their local communities. Publix has supported Special Olympics Florida and its athletes for more than 50 years.

“We are proud to partner with Publix for our annual Torch Icon Campaign,” said Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock. “Publix has been with us since our founding in 1972, and they remain one of our most committed partners. Our annual campaign provides an opportunity for Publix associates and customers to help light the torch for local athletes in their communities.”

Both Special Olympics and Publix have a long history of working to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics offers year-round sports training and competition, critical health services, leadership development, and inclusive programming for its athletes. Publix employs many of those athletes and, for decades, has encouraged people with disabilities to become Publix associates.

“As a supporter of Special Olympics, we’ve championed their mission through our annual register campaign and associate volunteerism,” said Dwaine Stevens Publix Director of Community Relations. “We’re honored to support the good work of Special Olympics by helping empower athletes to discover new abilities and strengths and helping to make our communities more inclusive.”

Special Olympics serves athletes with intellectual disabilities who compete at the local, state, national and international levels. In addition to training and competition for these athletes, it provides free medical screenings through its health programs, including much needed access to free prescription glasses and hearing aids.

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training, competition, health services, and leadership programs to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be productive, respected, and contributing members of their communities. To learn more, visit

About Publix Super Markets 
Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 240,000 associates, currently operates 1,322 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. For 25 consecutive years, the company has been recognized by Fortune as a great place to work. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website,

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Media Contact:
Monica McShaffrey
Uproar PR for Special Olympics Florida

Mary Frances Smith