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Birthday & Holiday Fundraiser

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I had a teacher in high school that impacted a lot of lives, including my own. She was laid back, encouraging and kind. She wasn't just a solid teacher, but an incredible person.

One time, I made her cry. I haven't forgotten it since the day it happened. We were having a scrimmage wrestling match at my high school against a "club" program and most the wrestlers on the other team weren't very good.

I noticed one of the wrestlers on the other team was a special needs guy and he was having a blast. Huge smile on his face. I asked my coach if I could wrestle him. My request wasn't dismissed as we were SEVERAL weight classes away from each other. Me being 140 pounds and him being a heavyweight wrestler around 220 pounds.

We were only a week or so away from all the big tournaments and I was expected to only have one real challenge in the way of me winning a State Championship. I wrestled some rookie wrestler on the other team and easily defeated him. 

A freshman wrestler from my team went out to wrestle the above mentioned dude and beat him. 

A few moments later, I asked my coach again to have a match against the heavyweight wrestler and was again turned down. Risk of injury was too high this close to championship time. However, a senior on our team was going to wrestle him. I, in no uncertain terms, told him to lose the match. He gave a goofy smile and walked to the mat. 

Of course, the senior wrestler pins the handicapped wrestler from the other team. I was unimpressed and demanded (strongly stated my case, more like it) that I get to wrestle the heavyweight. After my coach and the rival coach chatted, I was granted my match.

I'm a slight performer and I didn't want this guy to think I was letting him win. I went out and for 2 periods (out of 3) wrestled. I had a blast. The referee was my gym teacher and he had a smile on his face as he reffed the bout. I finally was pinned and my opponent leaped to his feet with a giant smile across his face. 

This makes me a bit emotional every time I re-tell the story. As I stood behind the wrestling team putting my warm-ups back on, my English teacher came down from the stands and with tear filled eyes asked if she could hug me.

The next morning my first period class was English. Early into the class, she mentioned that I had done something very kind the previous night and asked me if she could share it with the class. I can be fairly shy and I don't think I should be recognized for something that everyone else should have done, so I stated that I'd prefer if she didn't tell the class.

A few years ago, she passed away after numerous battles with cancer. She had a great heart and loved the community. I would like to give back to the community that I grew up in just as she did.

Maine is a rough (and beautiful) place to live, especially in the winter. Lots of folks live on fixed income or limited income. Our area isn't known for big houses or fancy cars. 

So for my birthday (and even Christmas), I'd like to ask you for your support and contributions in honor of my high school English teacher. She wanted to help the community and I'd like to continue her spirit by helping as well. The money will be donated to people in need of heating oil and other additional expenses they accrue during these harsh bitter cold months.

I am going to donate a minimum of $500 of my own money and would like to ask you to assist beyond that goal, so I (we) can donate $1500.


The Champ
Belfast, ME

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