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May 30, 2013

In-Kyung Kim

Lauren McCormac

Lillian Narvaez

Rick Saker


MEGHAN FLANAGAN:  All right.  We'd like to get started.  I'd like to introduce myself first.  I'm Meghan Flanagan.  I'm the tour media coordinator for the LPGA Tour, and I'd first like to just thank you all for coming in today and on behalf of the tour say how thrilled we are and excited host and be a part of this announcement today with Special Olympics and ShopRite.  Wakefern Food Corporation and ShopRite have been pretty wonderful partners of our tour for a number of years, and just last year right on this stage we announced I.K. as Special Olympics ambassador, which I think it is pretty fitting that we come together here today in New Jersey to make this announcement.
Let me introduce all of our star‑studded panelists.  To my far right we have Rick Saker.  He's director of operations for Saker ShopRite.  We have Lillian Narvaez, chief operating officer at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.  And then to my left we have Lauren McCormac of Delran, New Jersey, our Special Olympics representative.  She's a tennis standout, so hopefully we can get her started into some golf today.  And then to my immediate left we have I.K. Kim, who is a Special Olympics global ambassador for golf and also our LPGA Tour pro.
Through this announcement we'll have everyone come up and say a few words.  We'll do a special unveiling towards the end and we'll watch a short video.  Obviously we'll close with some questions and any one‑on‑one interviews you'd like to talk to anybody here up on stage.  And then immediately afterwards we'll do a short clinic.  I. K. will host with the rest of our athletes we have on the putting green out by the driving range for some great photo opportunities and any additional interviews.
So with that said I'd like to introduce Lillian up to the stage and get us kicked off.  (Applause).
LILLIAN NARVAEZ:  Thank you, Meghan.  In 2014 New Jersey will reveal America's champions at an historic changing event.  From the moment the athletes arrive in New Jersey, they will encounter a world‑class sporting event that celebrates their achievements and showcases their talents while empowering the nation to join in building communities of respect and acceptance.
Over 3,500 athletes from across the country will compete in 16 sports, be supported by 10,000 volunteers and cheered by thousands of fans.  The 2014 games will be the most inclusive national games to date with more Special Olympics unified sports competition, youth‑led initiatives and community involvement than ever before.
From Princeton and Rider Universities to the College of New Jersey and Mercer County Park, all eyes will be on these athletes as they demonstrate to the nation their strength, power and competitive spirits.
I would like to introduce our special guest, our Special Olympic athletes that are here in the audience.  Chris McCormac of Delran.  He's board of directors of New Jersey Special Olympics and also a tennis athlete.  We have Tom Monzo of Hamilton, a golfer and bowler.  For over 30 years he's participated in the sport.  Mike Chanese of Galloway, golf, bowler and Bocce athlete that will be competing next week at the New Jersey Special Olympic Summer Games.  We have Tracy Mussara from Summers Point; golfer, basketball player and a swimmer that will also be competing next week.  And then of course, Lauren McCormac from Delran who plays tennis and hopefully will be picking up the sport of golf, too.
I would like to ask Lauren to come and join me here to introduce a special guest who is here today for announcement (Applause).
LAUREN McCORMAC:  It is with great pleasure I introduce you to I. K. Kim, Special Olympics global ambassador for golf, who is also competing in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.  I. K. is a three‑time winner on the LPGA Tour, including 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational where she has donated her entire check to charity with half of the winnings going to Special Olympic.
I. K., thank you for joining us today and for your support.  (Applause).
I.K. KIM:  Hello everyone.  I hope you guys are doing well.  I'm here today ‑‑ actually, last year Lauren already mentioned, but I was named as a Special Olympics ambassador for golf, and here today at this great ‑‑ I mean very exciting announcement of ShopRite supporting 2014 Special Olympics Summer Games.  It's a very incredible announcement, and I'm very honored to be a part of it.
And well, I just wanted to share the memories that I had in Arizona last year at the North America Golf Invitational with Gracie and Jeff and some more athletes that I played with at the games.  And this is one of the incredible moments of 2013 for me because the passion and the joy that they had playing golf and just meeting me and just playing with other people, and I think golf is a great like sport for so many aspects.  You know, you're meeting people and also sharing your time with friends and community and everything.
So I hope everyone will have a chance to have that experience as volunteering for the Summer Games or either you can share your time, and your everything will mean a lot to the Special Olympics.
Also ‑‑ I don't know why I'm so nervous, but this is such a big thing, and I'm so excited because I couldn't be there at the Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang last year, and I really look forward to next year the Summer Games.  Especially I would love to see Lauren playing tennis and be volunteering or just support for the games.
So the Special Olympics can reveal the champion in each of us.  Whether competitor, volunteer or family members or fans, Special Olympics is building community through the language of sports, and all of us can be a part of this movement.  So I wish everyone can join us and supporting these great athletes and get inspired.  So thank you very much.  (Applause).
LILLIAN NARVAEZ:  Thank you, I. K. Kim.  The support that ShopRite is providing the 2014 Special Olympics U. S. Games is immense.  Their role as the official supermarket of the games will allow our athletes and volunteers with nutritious lunches, snacks, beverages through the games, floral arrangements for the many receptions and special events throughout the week, broadcast recognition, outdoor signage, in‑store exposure.  I can go on and on with the incredible support that ShopRite is going to be providing for the games in 2014.  Thank you, ShopRite, for your continued dedication to the program and the goals of the 2014 USA Games, which is to create the most inclusive Special Olympics event in the history of the organization.
It is my great pleasure to introduce Rick Saker, the director of operations for Shaker ShopRite.  (Applause).
RICK SAKER:  Thank you very much.  And I. K., to echo your statements, this is a big deal.  It's a very big deal for ShopRite as well, and it's a real honor to be before you guys today.
Good afternoon.  My name is Rick Saker.  I'm glad to be here representing all the ShopRite stores and making this special announcement on this very special day.  We thought the LPGA Classic would be a great place to announce our sponsorship of the 2014 USA Games which will be held right here in our state of New Jersey.  And I'm thrilled to be joined here today by some of our Special Olympics athletes and I. K. Kim, one of our fantastic LPGA Classic competitors who was out there playing with you guys today.  Got a little sunburned, but it was an excellent day.  Great breeze, great friends.
ShopRite has long been a supporter of the New Jersey Special Olympics.  Hundreds of volunteers from our stores turn out each year to help with the state games.  In fact, our volunteers will be at it again, this year during two days of Special Olympics competition, June 8th and June 9th at the College of New Jersey.
Some of those wonderful athletes actually work in our very own ShopRite stores, which is also a true honor.  The Special Olympics transforms athletes' lives through the joy of sport, and we all hope that you'll turn out with ShopRite next year to cheer on these special athletes.  We all win when we support the Special Olympics, and we hope you'll be with us next year to be part of that victory.
At this time I'd like to invite Lillian from the Special Olympics, I. K. Kim and Lauren to join me up here, right over here as we unveil the newly created logo, the joint logo that shows the partnership between the Special Olympics and ShopRite.  (Applause).  Ready?  On the count of three:  One, two, three.  (Applause).
And last but not least, today ShopRite is honored to pledge one million dollars in support to the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey.  I'd like at this time to invite my fellow ShopRite owners to join me up here as we present this check for the one million dollars to Lillian and the athletes of the 2014 Special Olympics Games in the USA.  (Applause).
LILLIAN NARVAEZ:  In advance of the 2014 Special Olympics U. S. Games, in conjunction with Special Olympics North America, we will be hosting the 2013 Golf Invitational on October 17th through the 20th with over 200 Special Olympic golfers and their unified sports partners competing right here at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.  We hope to see you there.
This has been a wonderful day, and we are so proud to have ShopRite officially unveiled as a founding partner for the 2014 Games.  We have a brief video of thanks to ShopRite for their continued support that we would like to share with you.  Before the video is played, I would like to take a quick moment to thank I. K. Kim, all the Special Olympic athletes and especially the ShopRite LPGA Classic staff, including tournament director Tim Erensen, Meghan Flanagan and all the wonderful people who allowed us to be here today to make this announcement.  Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all at the Games.  (Applause).
(The following video was played:)
"Special Olympics USA Games to have given our athletes a chance to show what they are capable of accomplishing and in the process will change the perception people have of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Each time an athlete steps up to the starting line, it's because you stepped up to support them.  The 2014 Special Olympics USA games will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  3500 athletes, 70,000 spectators, 10,000 volunteers and the eyes of the world will be on New Jersey.  Thank you.  We couldn't do it without you."
MEGHAN FLANAGAN:  Any questions, we will pass the mic around.

Q.  ShopRite could give to a lot of causes.  What's special about the Special Olympics?  Why does your company want to get involved in the Special Olympics?
RICK SAKER:  The Special Olympics touches so many lives in the communities that we operate in.  Many of our stores are located in the state of New Jersey, so we thought this was a tremendous opportunity seeing as the Special Olympics will be in New Jersey this up coming year, 2014.  And again, touching so many lives throughout our communities?

Q.  And one more for I. K.  Sort of the same question for you, you know, what attracts you to the Special Olympics cause?  Why do you want to be involved in the Special Olympics?
I.K. KIM:  It's such a great movement that I've learned the past few years, before I was announced to be ambassador for golf.  But I think we're all saying ‑‑ for me ‑‑ well, actually that I can only help giving them a clinic or just, you know, as a helping point.
But for me I'm learning more from the Special Olympics athletes that have the passion and the joy from playing golf or playing different sports and they were accepted as athletes, not as disabilities.  And I think we have such a wrong ‑‑ well, for me, I had a wrong perspective of seeing ‑‑ you know, everybody is different, but it just gave me so much more education and a kind of different aspect as well.
So I think for me I think it's one of the best things that I've achieved over the years playing golf.  If I wasn't playing on the LPGA Tour, I wouldn't ever have opportunity to be involved in this great movement.  So I feel just grateful for that.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN:  Anyone else?  All right.  We're going to head out to the clinic.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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