PARSIPPANY, N.J. — May 25, 2023 — On May 12, nearly 90 golfers participated in Delta Dental of New Jersey’s (DDNJ) 33rd Annual Golf Classic at Essex Fells Country Club, which raised more than $110,000 for Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ), a fundraising record for this event.
Delta Dental’s annual golfing event has netted more than $1.7 million over the past 30 years, making it possible for thousands of Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities to pursue their athletic dreams through year-round sports training and competition.
“Delta Dental is proud to be a legacy supporter of Special Olympics New Jersey, which is an incredible organization that has a lifelong impact on the athletes who participate,” said Lori Acker, DDNJ’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and SONJ Board of Trustees chairperson. “Because of this year’s event, nearly 250 Special Olympics athletes will be able to compete in 24 Olympic-type sports at no cost to them. The opportunities that the SONJ provides are unmatched, inviting those with intellectual disabilities to not only develop physical fitness, but also demonstrate courage and experience the joys that healthy competition can bring.”
This year, Delta Dental is sponsoring high school student and SONJ gymnast Farrah Spencer who is one of three athletes to represent Special Olympics USA at the World Games. Farrah will compete in four disciplines within Women’s Artistic Gymnastics with 111 gymnasts at the Special Olympic World Games 2023 in Berlin, Germany on June 17-25.
“SONJ has made me more confident and positive,” said Farrah, describing her overall SONJ experience. “The advice I would give other SONJ athletes who want to achieve what I have, is to work hard, try your best and have fun.”
Delta Dental’s philanthropic arm, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation also supports SONJ’s dental care program, Special Smiles through a $50,000 SMILE Grant. Special Smiles provides no-cost dental care to thousands of athletes.
“Special Olympics New Jersey is very fortunate to partner with Delta Dental for over 30 years,” states Heather Andersen, President and CEO of Special Olympics New Jersey. “As one of our longest-standing partners, Delta Dental supports our athletes in so many ways. Proceeds of this golf outing help provide sports training and athletic competition to thousands of athletes across the Garden State since we never charge an athlete to participate. In addition, each year the Delta Dental Foundation provides free dental screenings and cleanings to athletes who otherwise have little or no access to quality dental health care. We look forward to our continued relationship with our friends at Delta Dental.”
Atlantic Health System served as the event’s Presenting Healthy Golfer Sponsor, along with several other key sponsors, including:
Seton Hall University, UCONN, New Jersey Devils, SONJ, Corporate Values, and NJM Insurance Group (providing Somerset Patriots tickets) generously donated sports-themed giveaway prizes. Golfer gifts were Southern Tide gift cards redeemable for select golfer gear during the event’s luncheon.
Photo highlights from this year’s Golf Classic can be viewed in our designated Flickr album.
About Delta Dental
Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey's leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.9 million people through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental and vision coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs.
About Special Olympics New Jersey
For over 50 years, Special Olympics New Jersey has provided year-round sports training and athletic competition in 24 Olympic-type sports for thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, completely free of charge. Through the joy and power of sports, athletes are provided opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Visit www.sonj.org for more information.
For Media Inquiries:
Jackie Zygadlo, MikeWorldWide
Kim Elmore, Delta Dental of New Jersey