MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 23, 2013

OSB student raising money for Grand Canyon rafting trip

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Zane Edwards said he was told to expect hard work and hot weather for his trip to the Grand Canyon.

The Oklahoma School for the Blind sophomore is determined to go anyway.

Zane plans to raft through the Grand Canyon with the Global Explorers Leading the Way program, which teams blind or visually impaired students with sighted students on adventures.

He is the third member of his family to participate in the program. His older brother Landon also rafted the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. His older sister, Arielle, went to Peru.

To help raise money for his trip, Zane has planned a Potato Bake fundraiser from 4:10 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday at Oklahoma School for the Blind, 3300 Gibson St. Donors can get a potato and dessert for $5, plus chili and cheese toppings for another $1. Take-out orders will be available.

Zane has raised more than $2,000 toward the $3,000 he needs to cover the cost of tuition and transportation.

He said he looks forward to the trip.

“Landon told me to expect a lot of hard work and hot days — and a lot of fun,” he said. “I just like adventure. I’m getting out of my comfort zone. Even though I am visually impaired, I can still do stuff.”

Landon Edwards, 21, said he remembers the work he did and the fun he had on his trip several years ago.

“The people were amazing, and we got to go to the Grand Canyon,” he said. “There is some hard work because there is a mandatory service project. We redid a camping area, made trails for people and cleaned it up.”

Edwards said he told his brother to take in as many opportunities as he could to “soak up the experience.”

“I said to take advantage of your quiet time and write what’s on your mind,” he said.

Zane said he will go to Denver in April for team-building and training.

The Grand Canyon trek is set for July.

“We’ll spend two days on a community project then hike down to the river,” Zane said, adding that he expects to spend three days on the river.

He said he plans to perform some community service when he gets back home and plans to establish Leo’s Club, a student-based Lions Club at OSB. Improving speaking and fundraising skills are part of the Global Explorers program, according to a media release from the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Zane, who wrestles for OSB and plays trombone in the jazz band, said he plans to attend Murray State College after he graduates.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go



WHAT: Potato Bake fundraiser for Zane Edwards.

WHEN: 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. Monday.

WHERE: Oklahoma School for the Blind, 3300 Gibson St.

COST: $5 for potato and dessert, plus $1 for cheese and chili topping. Take-out orders available.