Nick Collison to Present Personal Donation to Special Care

OKLAHOMA CITY, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2010 – Touched by what he saw during an earlier visit, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison is providing a $40,000 personal donation to Special Care, an Oklahoma City facility that offers education, therapy and other programs for children with and without special needs. Collison is scheduled to visit Special Care on Thursday afternoon to present his donation check and discuss how Thunder fans can join him in supporting the facility.

“I am thrilled to be able to help out an organization like Special Care. I was able to visit earlier in the year and was very impressed with the work they do. The amount of care and attention they are able to provide has an enormous impact on the kids who are part of the program,” Collison said.

On October 22, Collison and teammate Morris Peterson visited Special Care as part of the Thunder Cares program and spent time with staff and children. From that visit, Collision knew it was a cause he wished to support personally. Through specialized care and early intervention, the facility focuses on ensuring children of all abilities achieve a sense of accomplishment and self-worth in an environment where they can thrive and develop.

The Thunder Community Foundation is providing fans an opportunity to join Collison in supporting Special Care. All proceeds from the Foundation’s auction of Thunder-signed items during the Sunday, January 30 game vs. the Miami Heat will be donated to Special Care. That includes a raffle of the jersey Collison will wear during that game. He will meet the winner following the game to autograph and present the jersey.

Drafted in 2003, Collison is the longest-tenured player on the Thunder roster, having spent all 7 years of his NBA career with the club. He and the Thunder recently agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him in Oklahoma City through at least the 2014-15 season. On and off the court, Collison is recognized for exemplifying the Thunder’s commitment to hard work and community involvement.

ABOUT SPECIAL CARE: A United Way partner agency accredited by the National Association of Education for Youth and Children (NAEYC), Special Care is licensed by the Department of Human Services to serve 135 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 21 years. Two-thirds of the children participating in the program have special needs due to a wide-variety of conditions, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, visual and hearing impairments, autism, attention deficit disorders, Down syndrome, and other physical, mental, and multi-disabling conditions. Programs include year-round direct care, early childhood education, and before/after school programs, as well as on-site behavioral, occupational, speech, and physical therapy services.