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LW Special Rec. Assoc. Looking to Score Funds for Basketball Tournament

The Rolling Falcons are hoping to make it to Louisville for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Tournament.

The Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Association is hoping to raise money toward an $8,000 tab to transport two teams of Rolling Falcons to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Tournament this April in Louisville, KY.

Among other efforts to raise funds is a 10-percent profit donation from all meals purchased today at Frankfort's Meatheads Restaurant, 11129 W. Lincoln Highway. Keith Wallace, LWSRA spokesperson. The two teams—the junior varsity for ages 4-12 and the varsity, for ages 12-through high school, are in the running for a successful bid for the 2013 NWBA, scheduled from April 18-20 in Louisville, said Keith Wallace, LWSRA spokesperson. About 20 kids are looking forward to participating in the springtime event.

LWSRA is an agency that has provided adaptive and special recreation services for individuals with disabilities since 1976 through a cooperative agreement with Frankfort, Manhattan, Mokena, New Lenox and Peotone Park Districts.

"Most people would be surprised to find wheelchair basketball is an extremely competitive and increasingly popular sport. The game is played just like NCAA-sanctioned basketball with only a few exceptions. The LWSRA Rolling Falcons are extremely proud to bring this sport to the LWSRA Area. It's just one way to expose everyone to this great game, as well as highlight some of the Midwest's finest talents," according to the LWSRA website.

For junior varsity member New Lenox's Zach Gorecki, an 8-year-old first-grader at Spencer School, the LWSRA program is a great outlet. His father Joel said in his first year on the team, Zach is enjoying his defense position on the team. Adopted from China, Zach frequently relies on a wheelchair to get around. He also uses a forearm set of crutches and he has used prosthetic legs.  

This is his first year on the team, said Joel, who together with wife Kerri have nine children—seven of whom are adopted. The couple's oldest two, Hannah and Abby, are the Gorecki's biological children. They attend Lincoln-Way Central High School.

"We're always looking to get the kids involved in something. With my Zach, it was a little tougher, but he really took to the program," Joel said.

One member of the varsity Rolling Falcons, Justin Hillman of New Lenox, said he expects the team to make it to the championship tournament. Living with cerebral palsy, the 17-yer-old LWC student said the adaptive sports program fits his style. The LWSRA "is wonderful for me," added Justin, who has been on the team for two years.

"LWSRA changed my life. No matter what, you are accepted and will always have a good time.  I consider everyone at LWSRA my family," added Justin.

His mother, Carol Hillman, said the team has is more than athletics for Justin. When he's playing with the team, he told his mother, "I feel like I've found my home."

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To find out more about LWSRA, visit their website at Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Association. LWSRA has recently moved to its temporary headquartes at LWHS Central. It's awaiting the completions of a building in New Lenox. in Check out the NWBA website for information about the organization and the Louisville event.

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