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Pacific athletes surpass target donation for Special Olympics

Pacific athletes raise $1,000 for Special Olympics as part of a nationwide initiative

Pacific University student-athletes have taken their partnership with Special Olympics Oregon seriously.

Their efforts came to an exciting peak on Saturday as members of Pacific's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented a check for $1,000 to Special Olympics Oregon prior to the Boxers' baseball game against Whitman.

The check capped a yearlong fundraising effort taken on by committee members through Special Olympics Oregon's Athletes for Athletes program. Pacific's athletes far exceeded their goal of raising $500, the amount to sponsor one Special Olympics athlete for one year.

'Student-athletes at Pacific University have provided two Special Olympics Oregon athletes the opportunity to compete in our program for a full year,' said Margie Hunt, chief executive officer for Special Olympics Oregon. 'It is energizing to see athletes of all abilities working together to promote the true meaning of sport. We look forward to growing our continued partnership.'

'This has been an amazing opportunity for Pacific to give back to the community,' said Pacific S-AAC president and women's soccer student-athlete Teri Shigeno. 'Our whole partnership was great, especially to have Special Olympics athletes come out to campus and to have the Pacific student body so supportive.'

The fundraising effort was one of a number of activities that Pacific's S-AAC took on as part of a nationwide partnership between Special Olympics and NCAA Division III schools. Other activities included hosting Special Olympics and Forest Grove Unified Sports athletes for an exhibition basketball game at halftime of a Pacific men's basketball game and inviting Special Olympics Oregon athletes to Pacific sporting events.

In addition to their on campus fundraising efforts, Pacific S-AAC members Shigeno, Kaci Linton and Sarah Tuffey participated in Special Olympics Oregon's Polar Plunge in February. The three raised $355 by jumping into the cold waters of the Columbia River.

Pacific's 2011-12 efforts in the Special Olympics Oregon partnership will conclude on Saturday as a group of athletes will compete in a pair of

100-meter races at the Pacific Luau track and field meet at Lincoln Park Stadium. The races are scheduled to take place at 1 p.m.




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