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Tizz Weber Speaks at Opening Ceremonies of Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Friday, June 5, 2015

Tizz Weber, director, Communications, Pratt & Whitney, delivered opening remarks at the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games Opening Ceremonies at Southern Connecticut State University on Friday evening.

Weber, a member of the Special Olympics Connecticut Board of Directors, represented parent company United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a presenting sponsor of the games. This year marks UTC's 38th year as title sponsor for the track and field segment of the event. Along with UTC, Pratt & Whitney has partnered with Special Olympics Connecticut for more than 30 years, with more than 450 employees, retirees and their families volunteering each year.

Full text remarks, as prepared for delivery

For the past 38 years, United Technologies employees, retirees and their families have demonstrated their support for the athletes of the Special Olympics.

So today on behalf of UTC, I am extremely privileged to welcome you to the 2015 Connecticut Special Olympics Summer Games.

Over the course of one weekend, the Connecticut Special Olympics brings together more than 2,500 athletes, 2,000 volunteers, 500 coaches – and hundreds of spectators.

Special Olympics has been changing lives for almost 50 years across the globe.

And, in 1977, a grant from United Technologies helped establish the first statewide competition, here, in Connecticut. This sponsorship led the way for United Technologies to be one of the largest sponsors of this weekend's games for nearly 40 years.

Since the beginning, UTC employees have not only served as volunteers, but they have invested their time, energy and passion to help this program grow year-after-year.

In the 80s, UTC volunteers helped implement the pentathlon and shot put.

In the 90s, there were UTC volunteers supporting the introduction of the mini jav.

And, when the World Games were held in Connecticut in 1995, UTC employees built 12 bocce courts in West Haven and also ran all the track events.

Since nearly the beginning, UTC employees have managed all the track and field events, from start to finish. In fact, several of our employee volunteers went on to be certified track officials for the World Games.

These volunteers do it for you, the athletes, because you inspire them.

As a UTC volunteer myself, and someone who has been involved with Special Olympics, I am proud to say that I work for a Corporation that has continued a tradition of giving.

My company and my colleagues are absolutely committed to improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. And isn't that why we're all here?

There is no doubt these games are successful year-after-year because of our tremendous athletes. But they are also successful because of the thousands of volunteers who come back each year.

So to all of the volunteers here this weekend, thank you for supporting this program, not only during the Summer Games, but throughout the year.

But back to the reason why we are here tonight … which is to celebrate all the athletes competing in this weekend's games.

Each of you demonstrates courage, strength and dedication beyond comprehension. You have worked so hard to be here … and, we all wish you the best in your competitions.

Thank you to everyone for making this weekend possible and cheers to another exciting Summer Games.