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Hitting the Links for Inclusion: With Help from United Airlines, Special Olympics Athletes Tee It Up with PGA TOUR Pros

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Hitting the Links for Inclusion: With Help from United Airlines, Special Olympics Athletes Tee It Up with PGA TOUR Pros

Special Olympics golfers played three holes on the tournament course during the VIP experience

PR Newswire

PARAMUS, N.J., Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, United Airlines, the Official Airline of the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Web.com Tour, flew nine top Special Olympics golfers to THE NORTHERN TRUST for an inside-the-ropes, VIP experience with three PGA TOUR players: Rafa Cabrera Bello, James Hahn, and J.J. Spaun. Through this unified day of play, United aligned its recently expanded relationship with Special Olympics and partnership with the PGA TOUR as a part of its continued efforts to break down barriers and promote inclusion.

Nine Special Olympics athletes with Rafa Cabrera Bello and and J.J. Spaun before play

"As United looked at opportunities with THE NORTHERN TRUST tournament and our partnership with PGA TOUR, we saw a unique opportunity and we are so proud to bring together Special Olympics and PGA TOUR golfers for this incredible experience together," said Suzi Cabo, United's Managing Director of Corporate and Community Affairs. "Today was about joining people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion on and off the field of play."

"So excited I felt so other worldly to be able to play with the pro, the accommodations from United Airlines, just everything is more than words," said Kyle Aragon, Special Olympics Southern California. "My favorite part was getting out to play golf, it's meeting new people, getting to express real feelings and have them bounce that back. It's a very pleasurable experience."

The Special Olympics golfers received a true PGA TOUR player experience. After VIP transportation to The Ridgewood Country Club, the athletes were escorted to their personal lockers in the locker room and then participated in a skills clinic led by New Jersey PGA professionals. Each athlete was then officially announced on the first tee. Following three holes of play, the athletes and their guests attended a reception in the United Airlines Fairway Club.

"United and Special Olympics' shared vision of unity and inclusion illustrates what the game of golf is all about, and on behalf of THE NORTHERN TRUST and the PGA TOUR, we were truly honored to play a role in what was a memorable experience for everyone involved," said Julie Tyson, Senior Vice President of Championship Management, PGA TOUR and Executive Director of THE NORTHERN TRUST. "There is no more fitting a venue to celebrate these accomplished athletes than at a PGA TOUR event, playing right alongside the top 125 players in the world."

"You can just tell how hard they work at what they do, and how passionate they are about the game, and the sport," said J.J. Spaun, PGA TOUR professional. "[Golf is] a great sport where you can have things like this. You can bring people together from everywhere and just have a blast and that is what we did today and I'm sure they had a fun time."

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, with over 5 million athletes in 172 countries. Through connecting golfers from two of United's relationships, this event epitomizes the mission of Special Olympics in that it joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion. Earlier this year, United Airlines announced the expansion of their relationship with Special Olympics globally, celebrating in their shared vision to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities.

ABOUT UNITED
United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,600 flights a day to 357 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 757 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express carriers operate 551 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol "UAL".

ABOUT THE NORTHERN TRUST 
THE NORTHERN TRUST is the first of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs, the culmination of the season-long competition that is the centerpiece of the PGA TOUR Season. Played in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area, THE NORTHERN TRUST features do-or-die drama as the top 125 players compete to advance, and for one in five, their season will end. With strong ties to the essential elements of New York culture, the event is a celebration of fashion, food and the best golfers on the planet. Many of the world's top players have won THE NORTHERN TRUST including Adam Scott, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and 2017 champion Dustin Johnson, who won the event for the second time in a thrilling playoff over Jordan Spieth. Since the tournament's inception in 1967, it has generated more than $48 million for New York/New Jersey Metropolitan-area charities.

ABOUT NORTHERN TRUST 
Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 22 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2018, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US $10.7 trillion, and assets under management of US $1.1 trillion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Visit northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust. Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in the U.S. Global legal and regulatory information can be found at https://www.northerntrust.com/disclosures.

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS 
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International, Microsoft, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at https://www.specialolympics.org/.

 

United Airlines logo. (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)

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