Special Olympics Club increases awareness at WHS


Photo courtesy of @specialolympicsclub2021

Members of the Special Olympics Club before the pep rally in November.

Created by juniors Ciara Dursee and Cara Van Allen this year, the Special Olympics Club at WHS has quickly become one of the more popular and impactful clubs at the high school.“The inspiration to start the club sparked from our love for sports and our desire to help spread that love to all people in any way we could,” said Dursee.

At the beginning of the year, the club garnered immense interest from all grades as many students also wanted to share their love for sports and help athletes with disabilities.

The club has amassed a total of 70 members and meets once a month to discuss how to continue to bring awareness to the Special Olympics.

Members of the club aid the Special Olympics’ goal of providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports. The Special Olympics of New Jersey (SONJ) gives people the opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families and other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Dursee said, “Our club encourages others to achieve their dreams with our help and fundraising. We meet new people and share our experiences. To raise money these past couple of weeks our club has been selling bracelets in order to attract attention to our cause.”

The club intends to continue raising money for SONJ and the money collected will be used to help create programs and events that will help people with special needs.

As part of its fundraising efforts, the club participated in the Jingle All the Way 3K on Dec. 5, both at the SONJ Complex in Lawrenceville, N.J. and virtually, during the first week of December. Members of the club registered for the run and all proceeds went directly to SONJ.

Member of the club and junior Drew Kornfeld said, “I joined the Special Olympics club because I think it is very important to give people the opportunity and outlet to play sports. It is important to bring light to the Special Olympics because it is good to bring attention to the joy and power that sports can have.”

Although the Special Olympics Club was just created this year, it has already made lengthy and positive strides within the school and the community. With the inclusion of students of all ages and the Winter Special Olympics starting in February, the club has a bright future.