Special-needs children see benefits from "Beavers Got Talent"

Special-needs children see benefits from "Beavers Got Talent"


11-year old Sam Ramirez gets a work out in every Friday afternoon. He gets his physical activity at the Oregon State campus.

"Activities, playing around, basketball maybe," says Ramirez.

Ramirez has Spina Bifida, a deformation of his spine. He's been in a wheel chair since he was just one and a half years old.

At 2-years old, he joined OSU IMPACT. A program that helps special needs children develop social and motor skills.

"Each child is partnered with an Oregon State student, and those students work one-on-one with the child in a typical swim and run program," says IMPACT director Jeff McCubbin. He says roughly 85-children from Central Oregon are enrolled in IMPACT. The program consists of 8-sessions a term, which costs 40-dollars.

"For some of our families, that's more than they're able to afford easily. And therefore, we try to find other ways to support the program."

That's where Oregon State athletics comes into play. Last Tuesday it held "Beavers Got Talent." A show and auction that helps raise money for IMPACT

"I thought it went very well," says organizer Linda Johnson. "We always have a few ah-ha moments with our talent because this is not their first line of work at Oregon State."

In year's past, the show has raised more than $1,000, which goes towards scholarships for IMPACT.

For Sam Ramirez and other special needs children, that means they can play in the pool.

"It's cool to look up," says Ramirez about being in the pool. "It looks like an entire thing of water just going like this (waving along)"