JULY 13, 2016, BY MARIANNE LYLES
FISHERS, Ind. — Every year, thousands upon thousands of dollars are needed to make sure Special Olympics athletes have the opportunity to compete.
One of Indiana’s very own raises some of the most money for the organization with the help of Fishers High School students.
Patrick Schooley was born and raised in Indiana, working hard for Hoosier students for more than 20 years.
“I was a Pike Red Devil, after I was an Arlington Golden Knight. So I spent seven years in IPS, seven years in Pike Township, and now here.”
When Schooley said “here,” he’s talking about Fishers High School. He first taught and coached. Today Schooley is a dean, but his work extends beyond the classroom.
“My son Collin is a Special Olympics athlete, and so when he was eligible to participate at 8 years old he started with basketball and so he’s just been involved with basketball and bowling, equestrian, softball. He’s done soccer. He’s tried swimming,” explained Schooley. “I wanted to find something to do so that I could support him and also support all the other athletes and Special Olympics.”
This coach and dad literally took the plunge for the Special Olympics largest fundraiser. Since 2009, he’s taken the dive into icy water for the Polar Plunge and his Fishers High School football team is right there with him.
The coach got emotional when asked what he makes of the show off support.
“Give me a minute here,” said Schooley. “It says that students view the value. They know that it’s important.”
Schooley does more than just support Special Olympics. He coaches Unified Track, which allows students with disabilities to also run on the track and compete.
“I know how important it is to my son,” said Schooley. “I know how important it is to my wife and I because he’s going to be here next year. So he’s going to be participating. You just want to see students treated the right way.”
If you don’t want to jump in the frigid waters, you can take part in the Plane Pull for Special Olympics on Saturday, Aug, 27, by signing up with a team.