Pro Cyclists Mara Abbott and Cari Higgins Join UnitedHealthcare Employees to Fill USO Care Packages for Troops at Pro Challenge Experience

August 10, 2014
  • 2,500 snack care packages will be distributed to troops at USO Centers
  • Volunteer project part of the ProChallenge Experience Post Event Festival

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team members Mara Abbott and Cari Higgins, and 50 UnitedHealthcare employees are joining today to make 2,500 care packages for troops.

The care packages containing breakfast foods will be given to troops at United Service Organizations (USO) Centers in Colorado and Texas.

The volunteer project is taking place at the 2nd annual Pro Challenge Experience, a community ride taking place in Fort Collins, just eight days before the start of the USA Pro Challenge professional race. With distances of 25, 50 and 100 miles, the Pro Challenge Experience gives cycling fans the opportunity to get in on the excitement of the pro race, which starts in Aspen on Aug. 18.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the USO and the USA Pro Challenge at this event that supports the troops and their service to our country,” said Matt Peterson, CEO, central region, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans. “The Pro Challenge Experience empowers participants to be active while challenging themselves against some of the most difficult and scenic terrain in the world.”

Volunteers will support the USO’s Every Moment Counts campaign by assisting at a photo booth where festival participants can get their picture taken and post on their social media channels using #USOMoments to show their support for the troops. Participants will also be able to join volunteers in writing notes of thanks that will be included in the care packages.

“Not only will fans of the USA Pro Challenge have the opportunity to ride some of the same roads that have been covered by the pros, but they’ll also have the opportunity to give back through the USO’s Every Moment Counts campaign and thank our troops for their selflessness and dedication in service to our country,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO, USA Pro Challenge.

“We are thankful to the UnitedHealthcare employees who have taken the time to help us give back,” said Christy Hartsell, vice president of corporate alliances, USO. “A partnership like this helps the USO have an even bigger impact on the lives of our troops and their families. We hope that the men and women who receive these care packages know we are grateful for the service and sacrifices they make for our country.”

This project is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity, inspire service and encourage volunteerism. For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

UnitedHealthcare serves the needs of more than 1.1 million Coloradoans, including nearly 171,000 active duty and retired military personnel.

About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381).  To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit

About the USA Pro Challenge
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the USA Pro Challenge will take place August 18-24, 2014. For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure. One of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and the largest spectator event in the history of the state, the USA Pro Challenge continues to set records in professional cycling by taking the riders to unprecedented elevations. Featuring a challenging course, the fourth annual race will spotlight the best of the best in professional cycling and some of America’s most beautiful scenery. More information can be found online at and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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