May 23, 2014

Carl Sandburg Middle School in Old Bridge raises over $19,000 during “Steps for Vets” Program in honor of Memorial Day

Students Collected Donations from the local area to benefit the GI Go Fund; Event was the most successful fundraiser in the history of the school district

Hundreds of students take part in the “Steps for Vets” event at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Old Bridge, NJ, which rose over $19,000 for the GI Go Fund to help returning veterans in honor of Memorial Day.

OLD BRIDGE, NJ - Students at the Carl Sandburg Middle School honored our military men and women this Memorial Day by raising over $19,000 for veterans returning home from combat and their families.

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.

The students participated in an assembly in the morning, where they learned about military experiences from veterans of each branch of our armed forces. Afterwards, they participated in a walk-a-thon outside on the school's track, where the students were joined in the walk by veterans and their families.

The funds from the event went to benefit the GI Go Fund, an organization that helps veterans with finding employment and securing their benefits, as well as providing aid and assistance to low income and homeless veterans. Since their founding, the organization 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, the GI Go Fund is looking to expand access to health care for veterans that go beyond the limited options currently available to them, working on giving veterans the ability to avoid the lengthy and outrageous VA backlog and instead choose their own doctor.

The event was coordinated by Gary Sapir, a teacher at the school for over 30 years. Mr. Sapir has a special connection to the GI Go Fund, as he is the uncle of Lt. Seth Dvorin, the soldier who the organization was founded in honor of.

“I am floored by what this drive was able to accomplish,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous. “These students here at Carl Sandburg showed us all how to pay tribute to our men and women in uniform during Memorial Day, and they truly have gone above and beyond to show our returning veterans how much they care for them. And having the organizer of the whole program be the uncle of Seth Dvorin, who was the entire inspiration to our organization’s founding, makes this even more special.”

This is the second time the school has hosted this event. The previous program in 2012 collected over $8,000, which at the time had set the record for the most funds ever raised in the school’s history. This year’s mark of $19,000 is the most funds ever raised by any school in the Old Bridge School District for a charitable event, something that brought a smile to Mr. Sapir’s face.

“I am just so proud of our students,” said Mr. Sapir. “I wanted them to break the record set from last year, and boy did they ever. They were incredibly motivated and excited to give back to our military veterans, and I just could not be more thrilled with what they were able to do.”

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.