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Knighthawks Players to 'Spread the Word to End the Word'

March 6, 2018 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks News Release

Members of the Rochester Knighthawks lacrosse team will participate in the local "Spread the Word to End the R-Word™" campaign on Wednesday, March 7. Players Brad Gillies, Austin Shanks, Eric Fannell and Jake Withers will sign the pledge and sign autographs for students, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., at Bishop Kearney High School.

"We are excited to once again partner with Bishop Kearney to support a great initiative started by the Golisano Foundation," said Gillies. "I am happy we can lend a hand and show our support."

For the eighth year, the Golisano Foundation is challenging the Rochester community to take a stand against using the R-word, "retard" or "retarded." The campaign is being held on the national Spread the Word to End the Word day of awareness.

The R-word has gained popularity in culture, but is offensive and derogatory to people with developmental disabilities. Spread the Word to End the Word was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics and Best Buddies.

Click here to take the pledge at

About Spread the Word to End the Word

Spread the Word to End the Word was founded in 2009 and is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics and Best Buddies to inspire respect and acceptance. The Golisano Foundation has spearheaded this initiative in Rochester since 2011. The goal is to promote more inclusive communities for people with disabilities and special needs, and reach out to more people who can spread the word and pledge to use respectful language that promotes more accepting attitudes for all people. The R-word initiative also helps celebrate the unique gifts and talents that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and can share with the world.

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