Wheelchair basketball event next monday

Ellie Walter, Staff Writer

The 4th annual wheelchair basketball competition to benefit Candeo will take place on March 9, 2013  at Grand View University’s Sisam Arena. It pits the Grand View football team against the Drake football squad.  The pre-game activities, which include face painting, raffle drawings, and a bake sale, start at 4pm, with the game beginning at 5pm.  Half-time activities include performances by both the Grand View and Drake dance teams, as well as clients from Candeo sharing their stories. This event is a wonderful opportunity for members of the community to learn more about Candeo, as well as allowing Candeo residents time to spend with their families.

Candeo has interesting beginnings. Gaby Johnson, Candeo event planner, said, “Candeo was founded 20 years ago by a group of parents from Ankeny that had children aging out of the youth system, and had no options available to them except for group homes or institutions. So they began an organization that would not only be 100% community based, but also allow people who utilize their services to stay in their homes and remain in the community.”

When asked why she joined the organization, Gaby Johnson, said, “Candeo is a unique organization with a good goal.”

The football players involved with this event have numerous features they are looking forward to in this year’s competition.

Cary Jackson, senior wide receiver said that what he found most exciting last year was meeting the clients and signing autographs.  He is looking forward to interacting with the clients again this year.

R.J. Brigham, senior offensive lineman, said, “This game should be very fun and competitive. From what I’ve heard, the game last summer was a nail bitter so it should be good.”

Brady Roland, sophomore wide receiver said, “What I found most rewarding about the experience last year was seeing the younger kids getting into the game while we were playing, getting to talk to them after the game, and signing autographs for them. It was fun to show them that they are still able to go out and play sports even if they are confined to a wheelchair.”

Jackson is extremely passionate about his involvement.  He said, “The event is a neat experience. Everyone should put it on their bucket list.”

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