MEDFORD, Ore. -- Right now local deaf and hard of hearing students are raising money at Wild River Pizza to go to the Gallaudet Academic Brain Bowl in early March. Today the students are raffling and auctioning off gift baskets from local businesses.
The fundraiser will go on until 10 p.m. tonight at Wild River Pizza located at 2684 North Pacific Highway in Medford.
The money raised will help pay for flights for eight students and four teachers. The team is hoping to raise at least $4,000 tonight. In addition to the gift baskets, a portion of the restaurant's proceeds will go towards the team.
Seven of the students come from Crater High School, one comes from Phoenix High School. They are all deaf or hard of hearing, and are a part of the Southern Oregon Education Service District.
The students have been studying since September and competing in preliminary tests. Their main goal is to eventually attend the national competition in Washington D.C.
Today Kelle Lovett, a teacher for deaf or hard of hearing students, says that many of these kids feel isolated. She says that some are the only students with a hearing aid or implant at their school. Lovett says competitions like this are important to help the students grow and succeed.
"To be able to come and compete with kids who are exactly like you, and share that common language, is so precious for these kids to have this opportunity to go to college," says Lovett.