Brown Distributing Company in Austin, Texas, recently helped send off William Mullican, a Special Olympics athlete who is representing Team USA in the World Golf games in Abu Dhabi. The family-owned distributor of over 50 years provided Mullican with a custom banner, cooler decals and golf gear galore, adding to the special send-off his employer, Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B, arranged.
William Mullican and Matt Rueter will do what few ever have or ever will: Represent Team USA on the world stage.
"I'm going to and leaving on March 6th to go to Abu Dhabi," Mullican said.
"Going to Abu Dhabi, representing our country, I mean, this is something that people dream about getting to do, and here we are," Rueter, Mullican's playing partner and coach, said.
This is the third year for Mullican and Rueter to team up in golf, but the first time in international competition.
"He must be pretty good cause they've won a lot of gold medals together," Bill Mullican, William's dad, said.
Overall, Mullican has been competing in multiple sports in Special Olympics for 13 years, and it's opened up a world of opportunities.
"That means that people love me and a lot of people are happy and golf," Mullican said.
"It has built his self-confidence a lot," William's mom, Tammy Mullican, said. "Lots of friends, people like Matt that are great partners and good examples for him in life."
"We really cherish the relaionship that William and Matt have," Bill said.
It's a special bond that extends beyond the course -- and it works both ways.
"If you're having a bad day, you go spend 30 minutes with William and you're not gonna have a bad day" Rueter said. "I have done some pretty cool things and been to some pretty cool places and met some really interesting people. But this, by far, is the best thing that I've ever done."
But make no mistake, the competition is as real and intense. And so are the nerves.
"We're certainly not immune to that emtion," Bill said. "We're very proud of him."
"It's probably gonna be pretty nerve-wracking just watching him, watching how he and matt do together," Tammy echoed.
"Golf is, I love it and it's good," William said.
So good it's opening doors all over the world.