By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
It all started with one student, and a fundraiser for AJ Quetta has grown to involve the entire Amvet Boulevard community.
Over a three-day period, the school has raised $1,110 for AJ’s Army, which was launched to provide long-term financial and emotional support to the Quetta Family, as AJ focuses on his recovery from a severe spinal cord injury sustained on Jan. 26 while playing for the Bishop Feehan High School varsity hockey team.
Haley Rouleau, a teacher at Amvet Boulevard, was approached by one of her students, Caleb Butt, asking about holding a fundraiser for AJ. Rouleau talked to Administrative Assistant Kerrin Nugent, and it was decided to involve the entire school.
“I think it was really cool for them to be able to see an idea that they came up with snowball into something bigger than what they were expecting,” said Rouleau.
Caleb, along with his classmates Josh Fuch and Brayden Hammond, organized a Spirit Day on Feb. 23 and 26. Braydon said the three of them created a flier to promote the fundraiser along with a Google Slide presentation that was posted to the Amvet web site. Students were asked to wear green and gold in support of AJ and bring in any money that they could.
“It is important to help because AJ will need lots of care for his injuries,” said Josh. “It’s important he knows people care about him.”
Though the students don’t know AJ, nor have they met him, they’re bonded in being fellow hockey players. Josh, Caleb, and Brayden play for the Devils, a regional southeastern Massachusetts hockey team. Brayden said that AJ played for the Devils when he was younger and that the organization is like one big family, adding that other members of the team have sent handmade cards.
“The Devils raised a lot of money for him and his family and we wanted to do that same thing from our school,” said Brayden. “I think everyone should try and help other people even if you don’t know them.”
The students all agree that they’d like to do more down the road. Josh said that he’d love to help more and Brayden said that the fundraising should continue to support the family.
Rouleau hopes that the students have seen how much of a difference they can make. She said the students have been amazed at how much was raised and that it shows how kind and caring they are.
“They are only in fifth grade, but they are already so driven to work hard for what they care about,” she said. “We may not know AJ directly, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do something to support him in his recovery. We all care about AJ and are praying for him and his family.”