With a long history supporting the Special Olympics, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is this year’s official fuel sponsor of the Unified Relay Across America, a nation-wide race leading up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles beginning on July 25. This year marks the first time the World Summer Games will be held in the United States since 1999.
The Unified Relay begins in the Unites States on May 26 and is designed to celebrate diversity, respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. The race will be held over 46 days, when participants throughout the country will exchange the torch hand-by-hand, ultimately delivering it to Los Angeles for the launch of the World Summer Games. Comprised of three simultaneous routes crossing all 50 states, the race is led by celebrities and Special Olympics’ athletes and supported by the law enforcement community.
As the official fuel sponsor of the Unified Relay Across America, CITGO will support 36 vehicles that accompany the torch bearers from the East to the West coast. The relay route will travel through a number of key CITGO market areas where CITGO has donated 30 segments, including the route in Houston, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana, where employees and friends will be out in full force to cheer on the torch bearers as they make their way to Los Angeles.
“CITGO is a long-time supporter of the Special Olympics, and providing fuel for the Unified Relay Across America is a great way for us to continue that support on a much larger scale,” said Nelson Martinez, president and CEO of CITGO. “For decades, the Special Olympics has championed many of the same beliefs and tenets that run deep within our company, which is why we have found ourselves so closely tied to this organization. I look forward to cheering alongside the people of CITGO who continue to impress me with their significant contributions to the community and their drive to make a real difference.”
CITGO has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics. Since 2013, CITGO employees have donated nearly 2,000 hours of their personal time to the various benefits and charity events associated with the organization held in the United States.
Each year, CITGO invests in social programs that help ease the burden of many families across the country through initiatives such as the Heating Oil Program, the Fueling Education campaign, and CITGO’s 29-year-long support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. CITGO believes it has a responsibility to the communities in which it operates, and it invests considerable human and monetary capital to support local initiatives to improve the quality of life for the company’s neighbors. In addition, CITGO employees and those at nearly 6,000 local independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations provide thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars to help organizations in their own communities.