The weather couldn’t have been better on Saturday, April 14, for the PA [Physician Assistant] Olympics, held at Bamboo Gardens in Vincetown, N.J.; as students from the University’s Physician Assistant Studies program competed against seven other schools in games of tug-of-war, dodgeball, a speculum egg race, and trivia – all in the name of charity.
The game day events mark the end of fundraising for this year’s charity and is a day of fun and celebration for all of the PA students involved. This year, the students raised money for the Miracle League - North Hampton, a baseball league for children with mental and physical handicaps, in Churchville, Pa. A record 600 students participated in the games on Saturday. A check was given to the Miracle League - North Hampton for the total amount raised of $24,500 which will go toward a playground for special needs children next to their specialized baseball field.
For more than 15 years the PA Olympics, a philanthropic effort, has united physician assistant degree programs in surrounding Philadelphia schools to raise money for various charities. Two student representatives from each school recommend a charity, which is then voted upon by the PA Olympics committee. Representing Salus University this year were students Kaitlin Van Winkler, ‘19PA and Priya Chaddah, ‘’19PA along with Adam J. Moore, MHS, PA-C, ATC, assistant professor, who was the faculty sponsor.
Van Winkler, a first-year PA student, and vice president/treasurer on the PA Olympics committee, enjoyed her experience working with the effort. “This was an amazing event to be involved with, and it's rare to get so many physician assistant schools and students together like this for a great cause,” she said.
Each school hosts individual fundraisers to raise money for the charity, which is then combined for the total amount raised. Salus PA students organized a silent auction for people to win baskets with different themes such as baseball, spa day and coffee, among others. They also held a trivia night and sold soft pretzels.
At the end of the day, the students may have been exhausted, but all the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. “It was a great way to bring the physician assistant communities of the Philadelphia area together to have fun,” said Van Winkler. “I feel really lucky to live and go to school in an area that cares so much about their community that they made this fantastic event.”
For more information about Miracle League - North Hampton, please visit: mlnorthampton.com