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HCAC SAAC & Special Olympics Indiana Partner for Fourth Annual Bowling Event

April 14, 2014
Earlham College Broadcast Sports



GREENWOOD, IN - The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's Student-Athlete
Advisory Committee (SAAC) had close to 25 HCAC student-athletes participate in a
unified bowling event with approximately 25 Special Olympics of Indiana athletes
from Johnson County at Southern Bowl in Greenwood, Indiana on Sunday afternoon.  The
occasion continued the conference's and NCAA Division III's partnership with Special
Olympics and capped off NCAA Division III Week festivities.

The bowling activity followed the annual HCAC SAAC spring meeting, which was held at
Valle Vista Golf Club in Greenwood, Indiana.  The SAAC group elected officers for
2014-15 and witnessed a presentation by Special Olympics Indiana.

"There is no greater sight than a smile," stated Alicia Kalik, HCAC SAAC President.
"Seeing the smiles on the faces of both the Special Olympians and the HCAC athletes
reminds me that the little time we do spend together, makes such an enormous
difference."

Special Olympics is a global, nonprofit organization which gives participants the
chance to develop fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and share those
skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and
community members by providing year-round sports training and athletics competition
in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual
disabilities.

"The annual HCAC SAAC unified bowling event was as fun as ever," stated Michael
Furnish, President/CEO of Special Olympics Indiana.  "In the fourth year of our
partnership we're beginning to see how much the HCAC can be instrumental in leading
social inclusion of people with disabilities."

The partnership between the HCAC SAAC and Special Olympics aligns with the Division
III strategic-positioning platform as the student-athlete becomes more involved in
the local community.

"I am very pleased that we are able to partner with Special Olympics," says HCAC
Commissioner, Chris Ragsdale. "The timing of this event fit perfectly with the
conclusion of NCAA Division III Week and helped further expand the conference's
community outreach efforts with Special Olympics.  Today's event has been designed
specifically to promote and challenge our membership to continue their outreach with
Special Olympics."

At the event, student-athletes from the HCAC exchanged a gift from their institution
with their Special Olympic athlete pair to help commemorate the event.

Kalik added, "Bowling with the Special Olympians is a gift to us athletes. The
smiles that they have on their faces by being able to bowl with college athletes are
so bright and mean so much. This event is far more than just bowling; it is building
friendships and relationships that we will always cherish."

"It is a rare and very special moment when you are able to create a sporting event
(bowling) where Special Olympic athletes and intercollegiate athletes are able to
share a competitive experience.  The experience of sharing in the joy and excitement
of competition together is a moment neither group will soon forget," added Ragsdale.

For the first time scores were kept to create a little competition among all the
athletes.  Defiance College, along with their Special Olympians, captured the title
with a score of 811.  Rose-Hulman placed second with a score of 780, while
Manchester finished third (770).  Anderson (768), Mount St. Joseph (763), Bluffton
(756), Franklin (734), Earlham (688), and Hanover (670) rounded out the standings.


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