KENESAW — The Kids & Dreams Foundation and McKenna’s Rae of Hope Foundation will bring the “Relentless Tour” — a first-of-its-kind anti-bullying initiative featuring Anthony Ianni — back to several schools and communities in Nebraska March 4-6.
The Kids & Dreams Foundation has brought Ianni to Nebraska the last three years to visit more than 30 schools and three universities and reach around 15,000 individuals.
Motivational speaker Anthony Ianni was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 4 and was the victim of bullying as a child. He graduated from Michigan State University and became the first known individual with autism to play Division I college basketball. Under MSU coach Tom Izzo, Ianni played with the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten champion and tournament championship teams, and the 2010 Final Four team.
Through the “Relentless Tour,” Ianni, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Kids & Dreams Foundation and McKenna’s Rae of Hope Foundation seek to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying. Students with autism are frequently targeted by bullies, with an estimated 65 percent-90 percent of individuals with autism having been victims of bullying at some point in their lives.
Ianni will speak in western Nebraska schools on March 4.
On March 5, Ianni will speak at schools in Elm Creek, Overton, Loomis and Axtell. The final day of the tour, March 6, Ianni will speak in east-central Nebraska.
Also March 5, the McKenna’s Rae of Hope Foundation will host its “Heroes, Hoops & Hope” at Kearney Catholic High School. This event will include a basketball game between former Nebraska football players and central Nebraska community leaders. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with tipoff at 7 p.m. At halftime, Ianni will share his message to the crowd. There is no charge. Donations will be accepted to help support the mission of the Kids & Dreams Foundation.