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Spotlight on Special O: Fundraising with Tim’s doughnuts, icy plunges

Also, celebrating anniversaries in 2023
Dave Sandness helping  Theresa Bystedt get lined up with Bryan Ware in the background.

2023 Year of the Rabbit. And Special Olympics just keeps hopping along! The Sunshine Coast Orca swim team is once again flowing gracefully in the lanes at the Gibsons and Sechelt pools on Mondays and Wednesdays respectively. All have been working hard, especially our new swimmers Heather Dykstra, Sam Fitzgerald, and Chloe Rogers. Head coach Cathy Verge is focusing her athletes this year on using the basics as building blocks to something greater. 

Curling is popular and shows no sign of cooling down. Head Coach Dave Sandness along with volunteers Jeanne Hage, Randy Younghusband and Blake Simpson host their athletes every Saturday at the Gibsons Curling rink.  

On the provincial front, fundraising is a major factor for Special O and there are two major efforts in the works. Most Tim Hortons franchises, including both Sechelt and Gibsons, have confirmed they are throwing their hat in the ring once again, by promoting a Special Olympics chocolate cake donut with white fondant, sprinkles, and whipped topping. Sales will take place this weekend with 100 per cent of proceeds from each donut sold going to fund SOBC. Check out this link to learn more. 

Also, there is the almighty Polar Plunge from Feb.18 to March 3. The plunge raises much needed funds to help Special Olympics BC’s year-round programs for its athletes. There are two ways to get involved. You can register with a plunge program or for those BRRRRave individuals who wish to do so, you can make your own plunge! Share your Plunge on social media and and tag Special Olympics at #Plunge4SOBC. 

Plans for a formal program on the local scene for the polar plunge are still in the works but keep your eye out for individual athletes and their supporters who are already finding ways to take part on their own. I can’t say for sure but between icy water and yummy donuts, I know which one I’d pick! 

The 2023 SOBC Winter Games are happening Feb. 2 to 4 in Kamloops. Five hundred athletes will compete in at least eight different events along with 150 volunteer coaches and staff. There are no teams taking part from the Coast but we will be cheering for all those who are participating! 

This year, several locals in SOBC are celebrating anniversaries ranging from 30 to 40 years. Our local on the Coast has enjoyed 29 years and counting as an active local, starting from our humble beginnings in five-pin bowling in Gibsons. It is thanks to several parents and lots of lobbying that we now have many more activities for our athletes to enjoy for many more years to come. 

2023 promises big things for our folks in S.O!  

To paraphrase the Sugarhill Gang, Hip Hop to the hippie, hippie hop. Just don’t stop.