April Showers event rains with school spirit

Students and staff joined together to participate in Souderton’s first April Showers event. Participants ran through the showers to support Special Olympics and to celebrate inclusivity.


*When it rains it pours…Bursting through streams of water at the April Showers fundraiser, Freshman Kendra Yerger shows her support for Special Olympics. Souderton didn’t let he cancelation of annual events due to COVID-19 rain on their parade, but instead found ways to give students safe, lasting memories. Photo reprinted with permission from yearbook staff.*

Establishing a memorable experience in support of Special Olympics, the April Showers event was organized to take the place of the annual Polar Plunge. The event took place on April 16.
After the Polar Plunge event was cancelled statewide this year due to COVID-19, unified track coach Bryan Fagan created the April Showers fundraiser.
According to Fagan, April Showers is a fundraising event whose proceeds go to support Special Olympics Pennsylvania and the Unified Champion Schools Program.
“Special Olympics cancelled all of their Polar Plunges across the state this year just out of an abundance of caution and safety because of the pandemic,” Fagan said.
Fagan was contacted by Special Olympics to help plan a COVID-19 safe alternative to the Polar Plunge.
Planning a school-wide event that would abide by COVID-19 restriction,s but would also create a lasting memory for students, required many moving parts.
The biggest hurdle was figuring out a way to keep students socially distanced throughout April Showers. Time slots were created to keep students socially distanced throughout the event.
Fagan said the event was “hyper scheduled.” Small groups of about 10-15 students at a time participated in April Showers, as opposed to large groups of 100-200 during previous Polar Plunges.
Some students preferred the smaller group sizes during April Showers compared to the long lines seen at the Polar Plunge in past years.
Sophomore Ava Beskar said she enjoyed the “different experience” of getting to run through the showers because she was able to be in the water for a longer period of time.
During the event, four firetrucks from Harleysville, Souderton, Telford and Tylersport fire companies lined stadium drive and sprayed their hoses in the air to create a shower for participants to run through.
“April Showers could not have happened without the help of local fire departments,” Fagan said.
According to Fagan, the event is a good way to celebrate inclusivity.
“We are really fortunate that the student body, the faculty and the greater Souderton community really supports our Unified Sports program as well as Special Olympics,” Fagan said. “The event is a way for students to show how they also support Special Olympics.”
Fagan said that events like April Showers are a great opportunity for the community to learn about inclusivity at Souderton and what makes the school district special.
“It’s highlighting how we’re building those friendships,” Fagan said, “because when we look past what appears to be somebody’s disability, we realise that we have so much more in common than what’s different.”
According to Fagan, Souderton’s unified sports programs are “unique”.
“We have a lot of athletes on our unified sports teams that describe our teams as families,” Fagan said.
Souderton was one of five schools in Pennsylvania to participate in April Showers along with Pennridge High School.
The name April Showers may have been a bit misleading for students. Senior Sophia Ofalt was in for quite a surprise when the sprinkle of water she was expecting turned out to be more of a downpour.
“I should have known with fire trucks that there would be a lot of water,” Ofalt said. “It was awesome.”
Students enjoyed running through the showers with their friends to support a good cause.
According to sophomore Ava Saydam, her favorite part of the event was knowing that it was for a good cause and the Rita’s water ice that was served after the event.
According to Fagan, the event was a success because overall students had a great time. The funds raised from April Showers go to support Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
“As of right now, we have raised $14,159 for Special Olympics Pennsylvania,” Fagan said.
Beskar was grateful to be able to participate in a schoolwide event like April Showers.
“It was one of the only big events that we had this year, and I think that a lot of people were really looking forward to it,” Beskar said.