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'It's just nice' | S.E.E. Field Day gives blind, visually impaired kids a day of fun and fellowship

The second annual event affords local students a unique opportunity to socialize with kids just like them.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 26 local kids who are blind or visually impaired participated with their families in the second annual S.E.E. Field Day hosted by IFB Solutions, the largest employer of people who are blind in the U.S,

The event was held at Alexander Graham Middle School in Charlotte for a day of fun. Students were coached, guided, and cheered through four stations of sports and summer camp-like activities. 

"From riding a bicycle to running, playing goalball, things that develop your motor skills, teamwork, get you ready for more things in life," said Chris Flynt, Director of Programs at IFB Solutions.

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Students told WCNC Charlotte they appreciate the unique opportunity to be with people who understand their situation. 

"They actually know what you're going through," said Amare Leggedte.

Hayes Hanvey, another participant, said she looks forward to meeting her friends every year. 

"We can talk about things or struggles that we have or, the things we like about being blind, that we can't talk to other people about. It's just nice being around people that are the same as you," she said.

Flynt said the program is getting bigger and better every year. 

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"As we get more involved in the community here in Charlotte, you're going to find different levels of blindness and low vision," he said. "So at some point, we're going to have to customize programs." 

Flynt said they hope to add swimming as one of the sports next year. He added one of their ultimate goals is to provide opportunities to train blind and low-vision athletes to go to the Paralympics.

Saturday's S.E.E. Field Day also served as an award celebration for their S.E.E. Walkathon fundraiser, which raised over $14,000 to send children who are blind or visually impaired to this year's S.E.E. summer camps. Sponsors and supporters of IFB Solutions also donated an additional $16,000.

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.