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4/9/2013 12:32:00 PM
La Salle Prep makes a splash with Special Olympics
La Salle Prep photo
La Salle students head into the chilly Columbia River to benefit Special Olympics.
La Salle Prep photo
La Salle students head into the chilly Columbia River to benefit Special Olympics.

On the morning of Feb. 9, more than 50 members of the La Salle community jumped into the icy Columbia River. The group of students, alumni, family members, future Falcons, faculty, and staff braved the cool temperatures to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon. Together, the La Salle team raised $4,444 and took the first place fundraising trophy for a high school team — for the third year in a row. Joslynn Bigelow, a junior, and her supporters contributed $1,144 toward La Salle’s total.

Sophomore Jack Kain was a Super-Plunger again this year. Kain and his family took turns jumping in to the Columbia River, on the hour, for 24 hours. With Jack as their leader, the Kain family (including Ryan, class of 2011), their friends, and supporters raised $17,605 for Special Olympics.

La Salle is directly affected by Special Olympics. Last year the school opened a special program, Signum Fidei, for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Some Signum Fidei students found the time commitment and level of competition in the OSAA sanctioned athletic teams to be too demanding. So, La Salle found an alternative. La Salle now has Project UNIFY teams in basketball and soccer. The teams allow students with and without disabilities to play together in tournaments sponsored by Special Olympics. The students on these teams enjoy playing in a less competitive environment and find the weekly sports practice a perfect way to continue to build community. The basketball team had a successful first season; with every member of the team scoring at least one basket. Twenty percent of the money raised through the Polar Plunge came back to La Salle’s team. That means $883 for equipment, uniforms and facility rentals.

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