Celebrating a Lifetime Legacy of Service
By Brittany Clark on Sunday, October 31st, 2010
The inaugural Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge (EKS Challenge) took place Saturday, October 23, on the National Mall in Washington DC. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and supporters of Peace Corps were urged to come out and show their appreciation for the legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her husband, Sargent Shriver, who inspired thousands as co-founder of Peace Corps and as the first Peace Corps Director from 1961 to 1966.
The Challenge featured a number of activities and competitions, including a 20-mile cycling event, a 5K run, and a 3K walk. All events began and ended at the Washington Monument on the National Mall. The President of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), Kevin Quigley, and RPCV Geri Critchley were among those who came to participate and show their support for the legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and “Sarge,” as the first director is affectionately known in Peace Corps circles. The Challenge raised 1.2 million dollars for Best Buddies International and Special Olympics, two of Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s organizations.
This day of events celebrated Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s lifetime of service, centering on her vision of fostering greater acceptance and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Eunice Kennedy Shriver worked for over five decades to improve the lives of this sometimes marginalized group, making it her life’s mission and greatest legacy. When Shriver passed away last year, her family issued a statement that said, “She set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more… Her work transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, and they in turn are her living legacy.”