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A day of smiles

Steilacoom Sentinels host annual event

Lisa Kruzel and Katie Minor assist Bama Shore as he competes during the Day of Champions competition. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Sarah Barlow knelt down, turned her digital camera around, and showed a small group of students from Steilacoom High School the pictures she had taken of them.

"It is so amazing to be here, to see the awesome smiles of these kids," said the 10th grade student at Steilacoom High School.

Barlow wasn't the only one smiling.  Everyone surrounding her smiled just as widely.

Last Thursday, the Steilacoom Historical School District hosted its 2nd annual Day of Champions event.

Cole Tomkins competes in the shuttle run during the 2nd Annual Day of Champions event at Steilacoom High School. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Students from Chloe Clark Elementary, Saltars Point Elementary, Cherrydale Primary School, Steilacoom High School, Pioneer Middle School, and Anderson Island Elementary were happy to take the field.

A non-competitive track-and-field event for the district's student athletes with disabilities, they vied in various events such as a soccer kick, softball throw, shuttle run, the noodle javelin throw and more.

"The Day of Champions means overcoming obstacles," wrote Blanca Shore, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord mother of Bama Shore, an 8-year-old boy with an infectious smile.

"The amount of obstacles he has faced and overcome is overwhelming, and he does it all in stride and with a smile."

Steilacoom High School students, including cheerleaders, leadership students and some district teachers, assisted and cheered on the athletes.

For Shore, the Day of Champions only highlights the school district's commitment to the acceptance of all its students.

"They have listened to our requests and done everything they can to ensure Bama's inclusion," she continued.

"We couldn't have asked for a better school district to be involved in Bama's education."

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