Patriotic Pride

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As a result of their fundraising efforts, Oldfield Middle School students raised more than $16,000 to purchase a Trackchair, a motorized chair that enhances mobility, for a wounded veteran through The Independence Fund organization. During a special pep rally event on May 13, students witnessed the results of their hard work when veteran, Julia Torres, received her new Trackchair.

The Independence Fund, a nonprofit organization, supports injured and wounded veterans by providing the tools they need to achieve their independence and freedom. During the course of the school year, Oldfield Middle School students, faculty and PTA organized more than 16 different fundraising events to raise funds. Exceeding their anticipated goal of $15,000, the school raised $16,000 to buy a ‘Zoom’ Trackchair.

In honor of the assembly, students, coordinated by grade level, arrived to school dressed in a red, white or blue shirt. Following the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by faculty and students, Principal Joanne Giordano kicked off the presentation with words of gratitude to the students for raising money for this special cause and appreciation to the veterans in attendance for their service.

Assistant Principal Joseph Castoro introduced the next guest speaker to the podium. Tommy Rieman, a retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. and executive director of The Independence Fund, expressed his gratitude and lauded the students as heroes for their contribution and thoughtful efforts. Members of the student government presented Rieman with a check for $16,000 made out to The Independence Fund.

“Today we are going to change the life of someone who lost their mobility due to their sacrifices to this nation,” said Rieman. “I want you to walk away today standing proud, you guys are the heroes of today and tomorrow. Oldfield Middle School, the world should know that you are true American patriots.”

Filled with gratitude for the students’ efforts, veteran Torres, expressed her appreciation and encouraged the students that “nothing is impossible.”

“I am in such gratitude for the kids who raised so much money in such a short period of time,” said Torres. “It is truly admirable and from the bottom of my heart I thank them.”