Fresh off their third-place win in Whitehorse, athletes and coaches with Quesnel’s Special Olympics helped wash cars and sell baking for their annual spring fundraiser on Saturday, May 14.
A barbecue was also held at the parking lot of Extra Foods.
“It went really well,” said coach and volunteer Laura Hender. “The people of Quesnel were very generous.”
Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. the group had washed 49 vehicles.
It was their first such fundraiser supporting travel, equipment, uniforms and more since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It feels like things are back to normal again, so it was great to have everybody out again and the camaraderie. The teamwork is what I loved watching,” Hender said.
“We”re just really happy to be back, and we do this annually, so we’ll be back again next year.”
The Quesnel Special Olympics were previously in the Yukon for an invitational soccer tournament on May 7/8.
While the team lost a close game to Nanaimo that went to play for first place against Coquitlam, they defeated Abbotsford to go home with bronze.
“We were down 2-0 in halftime, so suddenly everybody kind of woke up and realized that if they didn’t do well enough, they weren’t going to get a medal at all,” said coach and Quesnel Special Olympics program coordinator Rick Prosk.
“Fourth place is pretty hard to accept, I think for any team, so they scored six unanswered goals in that second half.”
Prosk said although the team did not get to see much of Whitehorse, they were able to enjoy some swimming at the Canada Games Centre.
The tournament wrapped up with the Whitehorse team hosting an evening dance.
“I’ve been almost 20 years with Special Olympics, and that’s only the third time that we’ve flown somewhere to compete, so it’s a big deal to get on a plane and go somewhere,” Prosk said.
The Quesnel Special Olympics will be traveling next month to Abbotsford. They will also be in Smithers for track and field.
A year-end windup is planned to take place Saturday, June 18, at Correlieu Secondary School.
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