Liberty hosts annual Down Syndrome awareness game

Sara Bluhm, Photography Editor

On Wednesday the 29, Liberty’s Girls JV soccer team faced the Issaquah Eagles for a cause greater than that of a sports title. The Issaquah VS Liberty “Impact” Soccer Game for Down Syndrome Awareness took place in support of the Just As I Am campaign.

Every year certain individuals with Down Syndrome are recognized and highlighted for making an impact just as they are. This year two future high school students were the main focus of the eventful night complete with raffles, a halftime ceremony for the selected individuals, and a cash dash.

The first of the two young men highlighted was future Issaquah Eagle Diego Gardner-Garcia and the second was future Liberty Patriot Brent Omen. During halftime the two were honored with a scarf salute in which they ran through a large tunnel of cheerleaders from both schools to the center of the field. Once reaching the center of the field, the boys stood at attention while family members read short, heart-felt speeches to their sons.

Following the halftime ceremony, third quarter was kicked off with a Cash dash in which the LHS Varsity Girls Soccer team ran buckets throughout the crowd to collect donations for the International Down Syndrome Coalition.

Alongside the third-quarter Cash Dash, raffle tickets were sold and all proceeds also went to the International Down Syndrome Coalition. Local families and organizations donated prizes such as fleece blankets, cupcakes, and even a pool party at Maple Hills Pool for the raffle in order to meet the end goal of $500.00.

Years ago the first Down Syndrome Awareness Game was held at Liberty High School and today it has branched out throughout our school district. Liberty has set a positive tone which other schools have followed which brings the community closer together as a whole while working as one to promote awareness of Down Syndrome.

Although the game ended with a Liberty loss of two to zero in the Eagles favor, it seems as though everyone was a winner last night for supporting an important cause and highlighting two individuals who have made an impact on their community by just being themselves.