Community Engagement Hosts SO Glow
The Mercersburg Academy campus glowed Friday night, November 5, as the school’s Community Engagement team partnered with Special Olympics Maryland to host SO Glow Mercersburg, a two-mile, on-campus team race to raise awareness and support for the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland.
“Special Olympics Maryland and Mercersburg Academy have had a great relationship over the years,” says Emily Parsons, director of Community Engagement. “Our students have benefited so much from helping at their events and meeting the athletes, and now they really want to give back to the organization.”
In the spirit of friendly competition, the school’s Community Engagement team challenged all performance group activity (PGA) members to see which PGA could raise the most money toward the ultimate goal of $12,000. For the second year in a row, Dance claimed top honors, raising more than $3,000, and the entire fundraiser surpassed its initial goal with a total of more than $12,300.
Funds raised through SO Glow will help fund year-round sports and leadership programs for the more than 6,102 athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. Mercersburg has collaborated with Special Olympics Maryland for more than six years, officially signing a memorandum of understanding in 2018, and has dedicated countless hours of support and many resources to SOMD athletes. All of the programs offered by Special Olympics are free to athletes and families thanks to generous community supporters who believe in the mission of Special Olympics.
“We’ll be sending 60 athletes to competitions,” says Parsons. “The students really wanted to go big with their goal this year.”
Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy in 1968 to give people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop physical fitness, build confidence through teamwork, and celebrate sports year-round. About 200 million people around the world have intellectual disabilities, and the goal of Special Olympics is to help as many of these people and their families as they can by offering a range of training, competitions, and health screenings, and by hosting fundraising events such as SO Glow Mercersburg.