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D-Backs and Parker & Sons team up for Special Olympics Arizona

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The Arizona Diamondbacks have teamed up with Parker & Sons Plumbing and A/C to showcase the important work of Special Olympics Arizona in an effort to raise charitable funds and create an important community conversation about the growing number of Special Olympics Arizona athletes and student athletes from the Special Olympics Unified Sports program that are benefitting from the innovative, inclusive and inspiring programs of Special Olympics Arizona. The D-backs encourage fans to support Special Olympics Arizona by making a donation online at www.dbacks.com/everybodywins.  

D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock will host Special Olympics athletes at various events throughout the season. Pollock will meet with Special Olympics athletes and student athletes from the Special Olympics Unified Sports program prior to the game this Sunday to help kick off the partnership and several Special Olympics athletes will form a spirit line to greet players as they take the field. Pollock will also host Special Olympics athletes on May 31, July 18 and Aug. 23 and will take part in a check presentation to Special Olympics Arizona on Sept. 26.

"I have been associated with Special Olympics and their Unified Sports program all the way back to when I was in grade school, and have happily supported their cause since then," said Pollock. "I couldn't be more thrilled to now be working with Special Olympics Arizona after so many great memories of the athletes and student athletes that I befriended in Connecticut."

In addition to making a contribution on dbacks.com, fans can also help by calling on Parker & Sons for any of their Plumbing or A/C needs or by making a donation at www.ParkerandSons.com/Everybodywins. Parker & Sons will donate $25 for each AC system or water softener install and $5 for every maintenance or repair performed in 2014. Together, the D-backs and Parker & Sons hope to raise $400,000 to benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

Using sports as a platform for acceptance, community, friendship, empowerment, dignity and respect, Special Olympics Arizona athletes, parents, mentors and friends have experienced incredible stories of hope, friendship and empowerment. Special Olympics Arizona helps empower more than 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive and respected members of society. Special Olympics Arizona offers year round sport training, competitions, and support programs. With more than 16,000 registered athletes and unified partners, as well as 12,000 volunteers statewide, the organization offers 22 sports and 573 events throughout the state free of charge to all Special Olympics athletes.

The commitment of Special Olympics Arizona is to continuously improve existing programs and to aggressively pursue new opportunities for athletes. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away. The Unified Program activates young people and adults to develop communities where all people are agents of change - fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for all. Currently Project UNIFY has touched thousands of lives within 155 schools throughout Arizona. The program combines Unified Sports, Youth Activation, health education, Young Athletes training and community awareness to form our leaders of tomorrow.

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