Students flex their muscles to help veterans

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by JAMILA YOUNG

STAFF WRITER

The “Push-Ups for Patriots”

Passion Jimenez, left, and his brother Angel Jimenez participated in the Push ups for Patriots
fundraiser at Bristol Central High School on Feb. 28. JANELLE MORELLI PHOTO

fundraiser was held again at Bristol Central High School.

Students, faculty, and Bristol residents went to the gym and did as many push-ups or sit-ups they could, for however long they could last. The event was held for 24 hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and benefited the Semper Fi Fund, which is an organization that assists wounded, ill, and injured veterans.

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“It’s an event that has two goals: one is to teach our kids about service, how important it is to give back, to understand that there’s a lot of people who’ve made sacrifices so we can live the lives that we live,” said Bristol Central High School Assistant Principal Ryan Broderick. “We’re just happy to support such a great cause.”

“We help post 9/11, wounded, ill, and catastrophic injury service members, and their families with immediate financial need, and follow up care for the rest of their lives,” said John Ploskonka, sports logistics manager the Semper Fi Fund, which was the beneficiary of the event. “We rose, to the actual cause, $213 million. Ninety-three cents of every dollar goes to the actual cause.”

“I’ve been coming to this for several years between here and Avon Old Farms School. I see the same kids every year. That’s a sense of building a community where they grow up knowing what service is, and that freedom’s not free, and that we have our great American young men and women who are willing to sacrifice for our freedom, and to be able to live our lives the way we do,” said Plosonka.

Kyle Soppe of ESPN was marking his fourth year of attending. “I made friends with Ryan (Broderick), it’s a good cause, and it’s a fun way to raise money. People go door to door knocking, it doesn’t feel personal, this I see where the money is going,” said Soppe.

Luke Schilling, a senior at BCHS, has attended the event before. “The Semper Fi Fund does truly amazing things. There are troops that lose their lives, limbs, every single day, and the fact that we can help in any sort of way, donate a little bit. I donate my time every year. It’s the lease we could do because these people are out here serving our country, and you have to give a little,” said Schilling.