Raiders Basketball Team to Assist Autism, Columbus Inclusive Playground

COLUMBUS – The CCC Raiders men’s basketball team will be participating in Coaches Powering Forward for Autism at the end of January.

According to a press releases the event will be held on January 30th, the night the Raiders host Doane JV at home, and the children, youth, and adults with autism, as well as their families, are welcome to take part.

The press release from Central Community College says during the game, head coach Jerry Drymon and his staff will wear the official Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece to help raise awareness and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders.  Donations are going to be collected during the game and the funds will be given to the Columbus Inclusive Playground initiative.

The Inclusive Playground Initiative is an effort being made to construct a community playground at Lost Creek Elementary School that is wheelchair accessible, includes an impact-absorbent accessible surface with shaded equipment, and caters to the physical, sensory, and social needs of those who are using it.

“The Raiders men’s basketball team is proud to take part in Coaches Powering Forward for Autism,” said Drymon. “Autism affects so many people and the team is hoping to raise awareness about autism and make a difference for those affected by it. We are equally proud to lend a helping hand to the Columbus Inclusive Playground, which will provide a better quality of life for all children with disabilities.”

The initiative began in early 2015 with special education teachers from Lost Creek Elementary School and Columbus Public Schools education director, say the press release.

The initiative is now community-wide and they only have $70,000 of their $265,000 goal left to raise.  The press release says they would like to open the playground in August of this year.

“We are so grateful for the support being given by the CCC men’s basketball team,” said Megan Johnson, special education teacher at Lost Creek Elementary School. “It is our mission to bring a space to Columbus where people with disabilities can learn through play and where they are no longer defined by their disability but by the joy, laughter and play of childhood. Coaches Powering Forward for Autism is a wonderful way to come together as a community and show these individuals and their families that they are supported, valued, and most of all loved for who they are.”

Coaches Powering Forward for Autism was created in 2014 after two college basketball coaches embarked on a mission to raise awareness of autism. Today, nearly 300 coaches and their staffs support individuals living with autism through the Coaches Powering Forward for Autism campaign.

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