Guest comment: Making a splash for Lewis County Special Olympics athletes

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By Peter Abbarno

Diving in Mayfield Lake in January does not seem appealing to many people. Luckily, there are some crazy divers out there who are eager to fundraise and educate Lewis County Special Olympics and Washington Special Olympics athletes. This is exactly what a few dozen divers will be doing at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 8.

We hope we can count on your support.

COVID-19 mandates and restrictions have been difficult for all of us. This has been disproportionately difficult for the Special Olympics families who rely on their training and competitions.

As Special Olympics Washington says so well, “Special Olympics is the only place where they find an opportunity to participate in their communities, to build their self-confidence and to feel like champions. ”

There is no better time to help our athletes get back on the court, on the court or on the track.

I am proud to participate in my fifth Special Olympics polar dive with our Lewis County Ice Squad polar diving team. It is a great feeling to know that your efforts have made it possible to purchase uniforms, reserve training and competition spaces, and secure travel so that athletes can represent our community.

Building inclusive communities and breaking down stereotypes takes more than words and feelings. To create opportunities for Special Olympics athletes and their families, we need to raise awareness and raise funds to help open the door of possibilities, not disabilities. For each of the 19,500 inspiring athletes at Special Olympics Washington, 13 other people with disabilities are waiting for their chance to compete.

Our Lewis County Ice Squad Polar Dive Team currently has 26 members and has raised over $ 2,000 for Special Olympics athletes. The team has almost reached our goal of $ 3,000, but we hope to exceed the goal before we dive on January 8th. Thank you for the selfless response from our community.

I would also like to thank Constables Ruben Ramirez and Stephen Sommers of the Centralia Police Department for their continued support and leadership in the Polar Dive, Tom Alderson with Awards West, The Chronicle, KELA-KMNT Radio and each of our team members. and our supporters.

It was with their support that we came so close to our goal and introduced Lewis County Special Olympics to many members of the community.

Please consider helping us “make a splash” for Special Olympics Washington. If you are interested in joining our team or making a donation to the Lewis County Icicle Brigade, please consider supporting Individual Divers or the Lewis County Icicle Brigade team page https://impact.sowa.org / LewisCountyIcicles.

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Peter Abbarno is a Centralia-based attorney who represents the 20th Legislative District in the Washington House of Representatives.


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