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Students Raise Money for Children with Down Syndrome

By Alecia Sexton
Staff Writer

The Department of Health and Physical Education held its second annual bike race fundraiser on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the Pratt Recreation Center. Students and faculty alike paid an entrance fee of $6.25 plus any additional donations, and gathered in teams of four in the Pratt multipurpose room to raise awareness of down’s syndrome, autism, and other developmental diseases.

Photo by Alecia Sexton

Proceeds of the event were donated to the Association for Children with Down’s Syndrome (ACDS), a special education school in Plainview dedicated to servicing both children and adults with autism and other developmental diseases. The proceeds will help to enrich the student’s educational career, all in an effort to make everyday a new and exciting learning experience.

A Post alumnus works at ACDS. “[We] chose ACDS because my good friend, Joe Ansalone works as a physical education teacher there, and [after] realizing his situation with a lack of resources to use with his students, thought it would be a good opportunity to not only raise awareness for Down syndrome, autism, and other disabilities, but also to give the students there new equipment to use in class that they previously did not have,” Nick Brown, a junior health and physical education major, and one of the student who co-planners for the event, said. “[He] hopes this money will bring joy to not only the students in class, but to their parents as well, knowing their children can explore and learn in even more ways with this new equipment.”

“It seemed like a good idea to contribute whatever we can, so all of the funds raised by this event are being donated with the intent of increasing the quality of equipment and education for every single student there,” Gail Weintraub, professor of health, physical education and movement science, and faculty adviser of the event, said.

The event kicked off with a brief introduction of the rules, safety precautions, and an overview of ACDS and its role in enriching the lives of students everyday. Soon enough the music was blasted and pedaling began. The rules were simple: pedal until you’re tired, then switch out with someone else on your team. At the end of the 45 minute period, the team who pedaled the farthest received a $25 gift card, for each of the four members, to the Cheesecake Factory. The event also included a full dinner buffet for students to refuel their energy.

“I [liked] the atmosphere, it was competitive but fun. There wasn’t a lot of tension even though we were all competing and everyone wanted to win. We were having fun more than anything,” Nick Conetta, a freshman health and physical education major, and one of the participants, said. “It felt good to be participating in something super fun and something that was benefiting others. I’d definitely do it again, and hopefully win next time,” he continued.

Over $250 was raised for ACDS. The bike race donation funds bring the students of ACDS just one step closer to being offered the resources they need to be successful.

[Editors Note: Alecia Sexton helped collaborate the event]

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