Two Benjamin Banneker teachers went “Over the Edge” this week to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Delaware (SODE). Elementary teachers Cary Knight and Angel Mills joined other statewide Special Olympics advocates in Wilmington as they rappelled off a 17 story, 222 feet, building.
“This is one of those unique events we do that has just seemed to capture the interest of our community,” said Ann Grunert, executive director of Special Olympics Delaware. “While we know the thrill is part of the attraction, we are also told by many that their inspiration to take on such a daring feat comes from our athletes themselves, who inspire us every single day.”
Students at Benjamin Banneker raised $800 alongside It’s All Good in Delaware for a total of $2,200 for the two teachers to participate in the event. Excited and at times scared as she rappelled the building, Ms. Knight says it was comforting to know that students and teachers were at school watching them live.
“It was nerve wracking but very exciting,” she said. “Knowing the kids were watching and supporting was the greatest part of this whole thing.”
Knight drew several similarities between the emotions she felt during the event and the stress placed on children with special needs in their daily lives. “I got to feel some of the anxiety and stress that these children feel in the classroom and during sports each day,” she said. “Children with special needs deserve opportunities to be included and feel valued, Special Olympics Delaware does a great job at doing just that.”
Each participant was required to raise a minimum of $1,100 in order to participate. “Edgers” include volunteers of the organization, family members, friends, and for the fourth consecutive year, a Special Olympics athlete. In its seven-year history, more than $896,000 has been raised for Special Olympics Delaware.
Special Olympics Delaware provides a year-round program of quality sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and cognitive delays. According to the organization, over 4,000 volunteers make the program possible for the more than 3,500 athletes who compete in Special Olympics Delaware. Special Olympics Delaware aims to builds sports skills, confidence, strength, motivation and self-esteem, not just for the athletes, but for everyone involved.
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