On November 8th, Salus University students from the optometry, audiology and occupational therapy programs volunteered at the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival at Villanova University. This event is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world. Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) provides year-round sports training and competition for more than 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participating athletes competed in a total of six Olympic-type sports including bocce, long distance running, power-lifting, roller skating, soccer and volleyball. The event requires 2,000 volunteers from the Villanova University student body, corporate organizations and the surrounding community, including Salus University students.

(Above Photo: Audiology students, Nina Buckley-Ess and Lauren Brockman, at the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival’s Healthy Hearing Table)

Pediatric faculty, Brandy Scombordi, OD ’98; Rajeev Raghu, OD ’98, FAAO; and Jenny Myung, OD, led the optometry portion of the event and Ms. Jamie Krass, Salus PCO educational program assistant, assisted over 100 athletes and 75 pairs of eyeglasses were dispensed.

The following optometry students participated in the Fall Festival: Class of 2015 members: Meghan Graveline and Mike Kelleman; Class of 2016 members: Vanessa Ceglia, Jeremy Han, Melody Monroy, Shawn Morris, Brad Powers, Samantha Price, Jenna Sembrat, Chaz Truesdale, John Weathers, Belinda Weinberg, Robert Woodard and Kristin Yandrich; Class of 2017 members: Karl Cunningham, Christina DeMoss, Morgan Gillis, Aimee Grimm, Kaitlyn Luchansky, Saad Sami, Nida Sherwani; and Katharine Funari ’18OD.

Audiology preceptor Amanda Marchegiani, AuD ’10, led the Healthy Hearing table with the following student volunteers: Kate Archer ’16AUD, Lauren Brockman ’17AUD, Nina Buckley-Ess ’16AUD, Kim Cather ’17AUD, Millicent Munitz ’16AUD, Michael Ruccio ’17AUD, Natalie Rupert ’16AUD, Jennifer Spaventa ’17AUD and Susan Ward ’17AUD.