Special Olympics receive $20,000 donation

Athletes with the Special Olympics in Newfoundland and Labrador received a big boost on Saturday from the St. John's IceCaps.

The team donated $20,000 to the organization during a fundraiser at the Clovelly Golf Course.

Kevin Dunphy, chair of Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador, said it was a big contribution to the group's goal of $200,000.

"We have the 2016 National Games in Corner Brook – it's a $3.5-million project [and] we're hosting the whole country," he said. "It's going to be spectacular."

Dunphy said the organization is trying to get more youth involved in their programs.

"A few years, ago we started a young atletes program for those between five and 15 years of age to get them involved in sport," he said.

"We're trying to develop that program – bring more athletes in."

Leah McDonald is a bowler with the Special Olympics, who knows the value of the programs.

"I like playing the sport and making new friends and going places," she said.

She has been playing the sport for four years and plans to try out for the summer games.

Her father, Adam McDonald, said the game has been a life-changing experience for his daughter.

"Getting out and moving, off the couch, where you're not put away, hidden in a room, forgotten about," he said.

"You're brought out to showcase – they can show what they can do, and they can do a lot. It would warm your hearts to see it."

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