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Friendship Games for local students with special needs grows bigger

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Baldwin-Woodville students march their banner down the King Field track at the Baldwin-Woodville High School followed by 10 other western Wisconsin schools ready to participate in the Friendship Games. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 7
Elementary students race across the track to the finish line in an attempt to be first in the heat. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 7
"It takes a village to raise our children," MC speaker Roxi Wakeen from the Baldwin-Woodville School District announced before the races. Here a student is helped across the finish line with supporters waiting for her behind the ribbon. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 7
The first race of the day was an unassisted chair race, in which Baldwin student Gabe Schommer won (left). Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 7
Racers in the Friendship Games at Baldwin- Woodville High School King Field track were greeted by a crowd of supporters at the finish line for each race on May 10. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 7
The grandstand was packed with students prepared to support their peers in the races, displaying decorative signs and cheering for the participants alongside school staff. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 7

Students in elementary and middle school with developmental conditions were invited to participate in the Friendship Games Friday, May 10 at Baldwin-Woodville High School King Field track.

Baldwin-Woodville elementary and middle schools hosted the 2019 Friendship Games, participating in modified Olympic-style races along with 10 other area schools.

Glenwood City, Ellsworth, Elmwood, Clear Lake, Hudson, Durand, Osceola, St. Croix Central, Amery and River Falls were on the roster to participate.

Baldwin-Woodville Occupational Therapist Dr. Carrie Kusilek said the event featured 150 participants. More schools were signed up this year than last year, Kusilek added.

Hundreds of students along with school staff filled the grandstands to cheer on the participants.

Rachel Helgeson

Rachel Helgeson

(651) 301-7864
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