Special Olympics, Thunderbirds partner for day of fun at Waste Management Phoenix Open

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - The Waste Management Phoenix Open is known as a chance to rub shoulders with the pros, and it's also a time to celebrate partnerships like the one between the Thunderbirds and Special Olympics Arizona.

"We have a partnership with the Thunderbirds, which is phenomenal," Jamie Heckerman said. "They are a yearly sponsor for us and this year they actually gave us a million-dollar gift."

Every year during the open, Tuesday is known as "Dream Day," where athletes from Special Olympics Arizona play with the pros.

"We have 12 athletes that have some out that have raised money. We drew them out of a hat to participate and they're going to be putting with some of our celebrities and biz partners today," Heckerman said.

One of those athletes is Amy Bockerstette, a one-of-a-kind spunky redhead who lights up the course every time she steps foot on the green.

"My favorite part about golfing is the putting," she said.

Amy didn't leave golfing behind when she graduated high school last May. Instead, she was granted a full-ride scholarship to Paradise Valley Community College, where she's pursuing her dreams.

She says today she feels right at home on the putting green.

"They were nice to me, they were amazing golfers in Special Olympics," she said.

Heckerman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona, says to see the pros and athletes come together for such a special even is heartwarming and rewarding.

"A lot of our athletes aren't known as athletes and they should be, they're phenomenal in their sport and they work really hard at it," she said.