[The Nicks Fix]

A Very Special Christmas 2000
December 14th, 2000

Photo 1 - Stevie

Photo 2 - Stevie and Tom Petty

Photo 3 - Stevie and Sheryl Crow with Chelsea

Stevie sings at rehersal
at rehersal


Press Release

A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS from Washington, D.C. to Premiere on TNT
Tuesday, December 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Jon Bon Jovi, Macy Gray, Wyclef Jean, B.B. King, John Popper and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Among Artists to Perform at Concert Celebrating Special Olympics

Top contemporary artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Macy Gray, Wyclef Jean, B.B. King, John Popper and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, among others to be announced, will perform favorite holiday songs at A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS from Washington, D.C., a concert to celebrate the achievements of Special Olympics. The 90-minute concert special will premiere on Turner Network Television (TNT) Tuesday, December 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The event will be taped on December 14, following a reception hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton to honor the spirit of Special Olympics along with the athletes and families who have inspired us all.

The concert special is the second live event and ensuing telecast of performances by music artists who are from "A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS" series of benefit albums. Royalties from the sales of these music albums, bearing inspirational Keith Haring artwork, have raised more than $65 million for Special Olympics Programs around the world.

"This Christmas concert offersSpecial Olympics the chance to not only recognize the achievements of the athletes but also honor the families who every day fight for the rights of their children that others take for granted," said Special Olympics President and CEO Timothy P. Shriver. "We're thrilled to be able to carry their message to an audience of millions."

"The artists' performances and the presence of luminaries who have helped guide Special Olympics to great heights ensure that the special concert will be a most memorable event on TNT," said Steve Koonin, executive vice president and general manager of TNT.

Since the Christmas Record Grant Program's creation in 1987, funds from the Grant Program have helped Special Olympics reach more athletes in rural areas, inner city schools, and minority populations within the United States. In addition, the Christmas Record Grant funds support development of Special Olympics in areas around the world as far reaching as China, Uganda, Russia and Brazil where the need is greatest.

A Very Special Christmas from Washington, D.C. is executive produced by Bobby Shriver and Timothy Shriver and produced/directed by Joel Gallen and Tenth Planet Productions. Sandy Shapiro is executive producer for TNT.

Special Olympics is an international year-round program of sports training and competition for individuals with mental retardation. One million athletes in more than 160 countries train and compete in 25 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics gives people with mental retardation continual opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts, and friendship with their families, other athletes and the community. Athletes and their families are not charged a fee to participate in Special Olympics.

Turner Network Television, currently seen in 79.6 million homes, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, advertiser-supported service offering original motion pictures and miniseries; original series, non-fiction specials and live events; contemporary films from the world's largest film library, the combined Turner and Warner Bros. film libraries; exciting NBA, professional golf and Wimbledon Tennis action; exclusive coverage of both the 2000 Winter and 2001 Goodwill Games; and popular television series.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

Lauren Hammann TNT-Atlanta 404/885-0797 lauren.hammann@turner.com
Samantha Graham TNT-New York 212/714-6926 samantha.graham@turner.com
Sheila Jamison TNT-New York 212/714-6981 sheila.jamison@turner.com
Fran Curtis Rogers & Cowan 646/658-8322 fcurtis@shandwick.com
Betty Ann Hughes Special Olympics 202/824-0338 bhughes@specialolympics.org

This information can also be accessed on TBS, Inc.'s press site at http://pressroom.turner.com
For more information on Special Olympics visit the website at http://www.specialolympics.org.

B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi in Tribute

By Mark Wilkinson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It was a very special and lively Christmas for Special Olympics athletes whose courage was praised by President Clinton, his wife and an admiring audience of supporters.

Featuring the warm, vibrant sounds of B.B. King's guitar, Stevie Wonder's keyboards and Macy Gray's unmistakeable voice among others, the "Very Special Christmas in Washington D.C." concert also celebrated the lifetime achievements of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who in 1968 founded the global program of sports training and competition for people with mental disabilities.

Shriver, the sister of John F. Kennedy, returned to her home Thursday after spending seven weeks in the hospital for complications from pancreatic surgery and was said by her son to be in good form.

For one colorful night the White House shed its stately image for its 340 guests and became the stage of an exceptional tribute to the spirit and achievements of over one million athletes in more than 160 countries.

"It means so much, it brings so much joy to me to be here," Special Olympics athletics gold medal winner Kealoha Laemoa of Hawaii told Reuters before the event. "It's wonderful that (Clinton) supports Special Olympics."

"Special Olympics teaches us that when people with disabilities gain skill and confidence we all win from their abilities," Clinton told the audience after the concert.

"When Special Olympics athletes from America meet their counterparts in places like China and Botswana, people all over the world are enriched," the President added.

Over the years, the movement has expanded dramatically and today counts supporters and admirers on all five continents.

"The Christmas concert offers Special Olympics the chance to not only recognize the achievements of the athletes but also honor the families who every day fight for the right of their children that others take for granted," Special Olympics President and CEO Timothy Shriver said in a statement.

Performing in a tent on the White House's South Lawn, musical guests delivered revamped rock versions of favorite Christmas songs.

Bon Jovi unleashed an Elvis-like version of "White Christmas," while Wyclef Jean brought together hip-hop and Haitian influences for a unique cover of "Little Drummer Boy" -- winning the audience over.


"It's an incredible organization," actress Jamie Lee Curtis told Reuters. "We're supposed to come together and celebrate people of all kinds and this is what tonight is all about."

Singer Jon Bon Jovi, who has been heavily involved with the "A Very Special Christmas" record compilations since 1986, said the athletes were "inspiring."

"We're making great strides with time," he said. "At first it was acceptance of the mentally retarded, now inclusion is our goal," he told Reuters during an interview before the concert.

"Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt," is the oath by which Special Olympics athletes compete.

The endeavor originally saw the light as a day camp in the backyard of Shriver's Maryland residence but soon blossomed into a widespread lifelong crusade backed by President Kennedy to reform the way people with mental disabilities were treated.

Shriver also dedicated her life to trying to prevent mental retardation by identifying its causes.

"What it has done through the years is bring them in the general population where they have always belonged," newsman Tom Brokaw told Reuters. "It's one of the triumphs of the latter part of the century in terms of how we all live together."

In 1968 Chicago's Soldier Field hosted the first World Special Olympics, which are now held every two years, while local, state and national competitions take place year-round.

Alaska will be the host of the upcoming Special Olympics World Winter Games in early 2001 with athletes from 74 nations.

This was the Clintons second tribute to Special Olympics. In 1998 the White House hosted a similar concert that featured performances by Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman and Sheryl Crow.

The "A Very Special Christmas" record series was launched in 1987 by A&M Records and sales have raised more than $65 million for Special Olympics Programs around the world.

Two weeks ago the Clintons also honored hundreds of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes for overcoming "tremendous odds" to win 97 medals in the Sydney games.

"A Very Special Christmas from Washington D.C." will air on Turner Network Television on Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. EST and a recording will be released, said Fran Curtis of Rogers & Cowan.

"We're thrilled to be able to carry their message to an audience of millions," Timothy Shriver said.

The top two video captures were provided by John Seger. Thanks John.

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