Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford Teams Up with Actress Lauren Potter for Special Olympics Unified Sports Challenge
Ashford and Potter compete with Special Olympics Athlete Mike Van Zee
Seattle, Wash., July 12, 2018 — Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford participated in the first-ever ESPN | Special Olympics Unified Sports Challenge, held Sunday, July 1, 2018, at the University of Washington’s Husky Ballpark. Ashford was among an exclusive group of executives who competed with employees, celebrities and Special Olympics athletes in multiple Unified Sports challenges – all to raise money for Special Olympics and the Seattle community. Holland America Line was a presenting sponsor for the Seattle Art Mural project of the Special Olympics USA Games.
The event preceded the start of competitions at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle (July 1-6) and was staged by Special Olympics and ESPN, the official broadcaster of the USA Games.
Actress Lauren Potter, most recognizable for her role as Becky Jackson in the hit television show “Glee,” teamed up with Ashford, along with Special Olympics athlete Mike van Zee and Holland America Line employees Erik Elvejord, Director, Public Relations and Dan Rough, Director Pricing and Demand.
“It was an honor to support and participate in the Special Olympics in our hometown of Seattle alongside Lauren and all of the inspiring athletes who show what can be accomplished with hard work, dedication and giving it everything you have,” said Ashford. “The Special Olympics embody what it means to be inclusive, compassionate and accessible, and we will continue to support its mission and advocate opportunities for all.”
Throughout the day, the teams rotated around 12 activity stations including Hot Shot Basketball, Penalty Shoot Soccer, Just Dance, Team Bocce, Inflatable Dart Board, Football Accuracy Challenge, Giant Memory Game and Golf Putting.
Van Zee is from Spokane, Washington, and started in the Special Olympics program in 1983 learning to powerlift. He first competed in the Special Olympics Games in 1988 and has gone on to participate in numerous Special Olympics, including the Special Olympics World Games.
As a presenting sponsor, Holland America Line supported the Seattle Art Mural project. Under the guidance of Seattle-based artist Catherine Mayer, 20 Special Olympics Washington athletes participated in three workshops to create art murals for the 2018 USA Games. Mayer assembled the 26-foot-long murals that were displayed around Seattle and at the Healthy Athletes venue at the USA Games. A seven-day cruise also was donated for a photo contest in the I’m a Game Changer campaign, which recognized unsung heroes working on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities.
Editor’s note: Team photo is available here.
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About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line’s fleet of 14 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 113-day itineraries, the company’s cruises visit all seven continents, with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations, Cuba cruises and exotic Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; four annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada and New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Panama Canal. The line welcomed Koningsdam in 2016 and has a second Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam, to be delivered in December 2018. A third Pinnacle-class ship will be delivered in 2021.
The company is undergoing $300 million in brand enhancements to secure its position as the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand their knowledge through an exclusive partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine; during an America’s Test Kitchen show; at Explorations Café presented by The New York Times; and by taking a Digital Workshop powered by Windows. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues including Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club. The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus that feature selections from Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council, comprising world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for our guests.