Blind athletes' group raises $100,000

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The Northwest Association of Blind Athletes, a local nonprofit agency that was launched by Billy Henry, keeps growing.

Its fifth annual fundraising dinner and auction Saturday at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, raised approximately $100,000 for the association's many endeavors, all aimed at encouraging people who are blind or visually impaired to get involved in sports and fitness programs.

The association provides scholarships, information, equipment and has even hosted tournaments — including the annual national goalball championships, held last year in Clark County. Goalball is a court sport that's somewhat similar to volleyball or soccer, with players passing the ball and aiming at the opposing team's net — except that it uses a special ball that's outfitted with bells so that blind players can track it using their sense of hearing.

Such developing opportunities is what the association is all about, executive director Billy Henry has said.