Special Olympics Swim Meet

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LEWISBURG -- A special Olympics swimming competition was held Sunday at Bucknell University.

Dozens of athletes from all over Pennsylvania participated in the event sponsored by two of the university's fraternities and a sororities.

Organizers said it's one of their biggest fundraisers for the special Olympics and one of the greatest events for their athletes.

Athletes from all over Union, Snyder, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, and Lycoming counties took part in this year's special Olympics swimming competition. That's something the athletes said has become a big part of their lives. Especially for Paul Bettendorf, who's been competing for the last 25 years.

"It is fun, all the athletes," said Paul Bettendorf of the Northumberland, Synder chapter.

The day's special Olympics swim meet was sponsored by Bucknell University's fraternity Chi Phi Phi Lambda Theta and Bucknell's sorority Kappa Alpha Theta Epsilon Pi.

The two organizations hosted the event, cheered athletes on, and helped organize fundraisers for the cause.

"We actually went around to Lewisburg community and to the different shops on Market Street and asked for donations. We also asked the parents of our members to donate, and our members also donate," said Lauren Bowman, an organizer. "It goes to hosting events like this and providing training facilities for the athletes and providing them with the opportunity to compete in events like this."

The event helps athletes gain confidence and strength.

Even the littlest of athletes were bringing out their competitive side, an event they said they love with all their hearts.

"Well I always win medals when I compete every time!" said Kyle Powell of the Lycoming chapter.

Organizers said, the smiles and laughter and fun, make the event all worthwhile.

The event raised $3,500 this year, $1,500 more than they had hoped for.

All of the proceeds go to the PA special Olympics.