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Evidence of the amazing support for Team Oregon!

112 days ago, Team Oregon had just finished our 2022 USA Games Training Camp, the first, whole-team, in-person gathering! On Monday, March 14th our Team Oregon fundraising campaign went live with an active “peer-to-peer” campaign, with 7 teams representing all 40 Team Oregon delegates with plans to represent our state in Orlando, Florida in the sports of swimming, Unified basketball, athletics (track & field), bowling, bocce. We also has representatives in the youth leadership experience, which is part of the Unified Champion Schools program. Our goal was to raise $50,000 to pay for the cost of attending the USA Games.

We are thrilled to announce that we have surpassed our goal by raising more than $52,000 and have done so in the true spirit of community and team effort. Our story forever moving forward will reflect the powerful and resilient connection our diverse Oregon communities, families, organizations, and individuals have with our unbelievably strong, motivated, and committed athletes and Unified partners. It would take days to recognize the many donors who helped us reach our fundraising goal. We do, however, want to provide some special recognition of a few highlights.

Top Honors in fundraising go to the Unified Basketball Team from Bend and the Swim Team. The Basketball Team, led by athletes Keifer Jackson and Cameron Walker, brought in $12,961, representing 73 donors – and continued their energy on the court, bringing home a spectacular silver medal USA Games finish! Bringing home the Gold medal in fundraising is our swim team, led by our USA Games gold medalist, Caitlyn Calaway, who raised $6,599 of the team’s $16,197, representing 156 total donors! Special thanks to Barley Brown’s Brew Pub and Sorbenot’s Coffee, for your amazing events and support of Caitlyn and Team Oregon. Other top fundraisers include: Shaun See from swimming, Marques Latson from bowling (who got a ‘turkey” by bowling three strikes during his 10th frame in team bowling which caught the eye of ESPN), 200 meter gold medalist, Cadie Lange from Athletics, Ivory and John Pike from Bocce, and Annabeth and Lillibelle Bassingthwaite, our Youth Leadership Experience delegates.

Overall, this “little” 112-day, Team Oregon fundraiser represents the determination, resilience and fortitude of our Special Olympics community to overcome every barrier that the past couple of years has presented. It is a faith-restoring, collection of evidence that says our Special Olympics Oregon athletes and Unified partners matter and are worth our time, treasure, and talent! When there are so many other things taking focus in our world right now, we are truly thankful for the nearly 450 individual Team Oregon Donors who chose to stand with us, empowering our athletes and Unified partners to Shine as One!