May 24, 2019

Carl Sandburg Middle School In Old Bridge Raises Over $12,000 For Memorial Day “Steps For Vets” Program

In seven years running the program, Middle School has raised over $115,000 to benefit GI Go Fund and the veterans they serve in the local community; Total funds raised by far the most any school has generated for military veterans in the country

(OLD BRIDGE, NJ)—GI Go Fund, New Jersey’s largest veterans advocacy program, were once again the beneficiary of the great generosity of Carl Sandburg Middle School, who honored our military men and women this past Memorial Day by raising more than $12,000 for veterans in the community during the "Steps for Vets" fundraising drive.

Hundreds of the middle school’s students participated in the “Steps for Vets” program, a walk-a-thon event where they collected donations from family members and neighbors to help support veterans returning from combat. James Fanous, co-founder of The GI Go Fund, was grateful to all who participated in the “Steps For Vets” fundraising event.

“This school has simply gone above and beyond all of our expectations for fundraising,” said Fanous. “Five years ago, our organization was featured on a reality show on ABC called "Secret Millionaire", where we received a donation from a wealthy artist named Scott Jacobs for $75,000. This year, with this donation, the students of Carl Sandburg have surpassed that number, contributing over $87,000 to our cause. We are extremely grateful for, and proud of, their efforts, and we hope that they know that their hard work will make a difference in the lives of veterans who need help.”

The “Steps For Vets” day, held on May 24, began with a school assembly that highlighted different military experiences from veterans of each branch of our armed forces. That was soon followed by the students taking their “Steps For Vets” outside on the school's track. Joining them on the walk were veterans and their families.

Proceeds raised during the event benefited The GI Go Fund, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans find employment and secure their education and health care benefits, and provides assistance to low income and homeless veterans. The organization was founded in honor of U.S. Army Lt. Seth Dvorin who was killed by an improvised explosive device during the war in Iraq. Since its founding, The GI Go Fund has helped tens of thousands of veterans improve their lives and give them the capacity to provide and care for their loved ones.

This year’s “Steps For Vets” drive was coordinated by Carl Sandburg Principal Dr. Martha Simon and Mr. Chris LoNigro, whose efforts helped make this year’s event a success. The drive was originally coordinated by Gary Sapir, a teacher at the school for more than 30 years. Mr. Sapir has a special connection to the GI Go Fund, as he is the late Lt. Dvorin’s uncle. This is the fourth time Carl Sandberg Middle School has hosted this event, having raised over $115,000 for the organization, which is by far the most any school has raised for military veterans in the country.

The GI Go Fund would like to thank all the students, faculty, and administrators that made this event a huge success. Their hard work will make a tremendous difference in the lives of countless New Jersey veterans this Memorial Day, and they should be proud of what they have done to help the men and women who fought to defend our country.