The NWABA had a great summer this year. One of the many highlights was the Salem Paralympic Experience held on October 3rd. With over sixty kids, joined by their parents, teachers, and, in some cases, siblings it was our largest outreach event to date. Kids came from all over ranging from Bend, to Eugene to experience beep baseball, judo, tandem biking, and track and field. We also had many amazing people come to help take this event to the next level. We had Paralympic athletes from Portland, Colorado, and California come to help inspire kids. Locally, there was Brett Lewis, a judo gold medalist and sensei as well as Asya Miller who is a multiple medalist in goalball and track and field. From Colorado Springs multiple gold medalist Karissa Whitsell came to show her love of tandem bikes not only speaking with the kids but also letting the kids hold her medals. Many kids left hoping they too could earn medals like her. Lastly, from California, two new volunteers with the NWABA, Eric Mazariegos, a world champion beep baseball player, and his girlfriend Kim taught the fun and fundamentals of one of our newest, and most exciting sports, beep baseball.
The day was separated into four groups by age and each group spent approximately 45 minutes at each sport with a lunch break supplied by the Oregon Commission for the Blind midday. Our partnership with the BVIS Fund has been a large part of the NWABA’s success and growth over the years allowing us to impact more people who are blind or visually impaired.