By Kelly Morris / Special Contributor
Support Our Troops didn’t just reach a goal. The Ursuline student organization smashed it.
The Support Our Troops Club, which honors current and former military, raised $10,262 this school year, and $9,000 will go directly to the Carry the Load and Travis Manion foundations, which honor loved ones who died in service and help returning soldiers and their families.
The club, which raised $4,000 last year, delivered the $4,500 check to Dallas-based Carry the Load Foundation in May. The club’s moderator was Michele Santosuosso.
“I’m so proud of us,” said Support Our Troops president Sophia Sparagana, who graduated last month. “A small organization was able to rally so much. It’s cool to see something you put a lot of effort into be successful. Mrs. Santosuosso is the backbone. This club would never have been successful without her.”
The organization’s biggest event was a 5K run/walk in at Bachman Lake in May. The club, which includes about 20 students, started garnering sponsorships in December and January. Support Our Troops’ sponsors included Speech-Soft Solutions, Kona Ice, Denny’s, Acompli Business, Macklin’s Catering Company, and Churchill Capital Company.
“This is so motivational,” said rising senior Ashley Wood, who will serve as the club’s president next year. “I’m passionate about serving the troops. I found my niche.”
Wood said the 5K’s highlight was seeing more than 150 runners at the starting line.
The club also raised money with dress-down days and a Kendra Scott jewelry sale. The club also sent 55 care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan and Japan.
“I just want to do it bigger and better next year,” Wood said.