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Garrett students taking icy dip for Special Olympics

Cumberland Times-News - 2/10/2019

Feb. 09--OAKLAND -- Students from four schools will dip into the icy waters of Deep Creek Lake to raise money for Special Olympics teams in Garrett County.

Northern and Southern middle schools and Northern and Southern high schools are scheduled to participate in the Cool Schools Dunk on Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. at Uno Pizzeria & Grill. It will be held the day before the 21st annual Maryland State Police and Natural Resource Police Deep Creek Dunk.

"The Cool Schools Dunk has been started to help raise money to ensure that funds remain in Garrett County to support our unified sports teams and the community Special Olympics teams," said Heather Raybold, the school system's director of special education.

Special Olympics Maryland partners with Northern and Southern high schools to provide the Interscholastic Unified Sports programs.

"This event will be an exciting new way to continue to promote sports and inclusion in Garrett County, said Lauren Jordan, event coordinator for the Deep Creek Dunk. "Through the Cool Schools Dunk in partnership with Garrett County Public Schools, we're excited to further the investment in the Garrett County community by helping to grow school-based programming."

"We are hoping to make it an annual event to help support Special Olympics and Unified Sports in Garrett County," Raybold said of the Cool Schools Dunk.

Students who fundraise or donate $50 for their school dunk team are eligible to participate.

So far, the four schools have raised more than $2,000.

The fundraising goal for the Deep Creek Dunk is $200,000 and, as of Friday afternoon, more than $37,000 had been raised, according to the Deep Creek Dunk website.

Money raised by Deep Creek dunkers will benefit the 7,782 athletes of Special Olympics Maryland, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports events for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Last year, the dunk raised $160,000.

"This event brings together Dunkers and spectators from all over the state for a fun and exciting experience in support of Special Olympics athletes in Garrett County and throughout Maryland," said Jordan.

The annual Goosebumps, Grapes and Growlers, which features wine and beer tastings, will be held Feb. 22 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Uno. All the money for the entry will go directly toward Special Olympics Maryland.

Follow staff writer Elaine Blaisdell on Twitter @eblaisdell.

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