SOAR basketball game recognizes students of all abilities

Olivia Molter, Contributer

For the Appleton North Key Peers Club, hosting the annual SOAR Fox Cities basketball game is all about providing opportunities and support for individuals with disabilities.

The well-anticipated game, played Jan. 30 at North, was played by the SOAR Hawks, a team of special Olympic athletes, and students from Appleton North’s League of Leaders, a club for student role models and leaders in the North community.

The event was a wonderful opportunity for the athletes of SOAR to get involved and be included in an event that not only helped our North students, but benefits the rest of the community and raises awareness for individuals with disabilities, said Mrs. Pynenberg, adviser along with Mrs. Bruce of Key Peers. “There’s a lot of work going into it before hand, but just seeing the smile on the athletes faces at the game makes it worth it,” Pynenberg said.

All money made at the event went to Appleton North and the annual Special Prom event that is held every spring. Both the game and the prom will offer North students living with disabilities a priceless chance to be involved in the many fun and social events held at North. Not only will there be money raised for Appleton North, but members of Key Peers Club have been collecting pledges in honor of the Appleton North players, each of whom personally selected a charity or organization to raise money towards. So far they’ve collected over $1,000 for organizations like the American Heart Association, Fox Valley Veterans Council, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Miracle League.

Key Peers sold concessions throughout the day and raffled gift baskets assembled by club members. The baskets included a Coffee Lovers basket, a Star Wars basket, a Beauty and Spa basket, an Art Supply basket and more.

SOAR began its tradition of excellence seven years ago when the director of SOAR, then known as Arc of the Fox Cities, contacted North’s Athletic Director in hopes of setting up a recreational game between the SOAR athletes and North’s Basketball team. WIAA regulations doesn’t allow exhibition games, but this seemed like such a great opportunity for the community and the school, so North decided to make the game a club activity, Mrs. Pynenberg said.