During a game against the Bristol Central High School held on Friday, the boys of Southington High’s soccer team wore camouflage uniforms instead of soccer jerseys in honor of the veterans. Prior to the start of the game, the team held the Headers for Heroes fundraiser to raise cash for a non-profit group called Wounded Warrior Project that provides assistance to injured soldiers.
Veterans, town officials, and members of Naval Reserve color guard attended the ceremony.
Eddie Klein together with the team’s other captains, Andrew Goralski and Dan Conolly wanted to have a fundraiser for the benefit of the community. After seeing the baseball team’s fundraising campaign for breast cancer, Klein felt that their team could also extend help to the community in a different way.
For the project, camouflage T-shirts were sold at the game entrance and the audience can donate $5 dollars. A vast number of people attended and waited for the start of the ceremony. Klein stated that prior to the event, the project received $800 and more in donations not counting the T-shirt sales or donations prior to the game.
Southington High’s Principal Martin Semmel said he felt happy that the school’s soccer team has decided to pay tribute to the community’s “treasured people”. He added that the team made him proud for what they have accomplished as members of the community.
A veteran of Vietnam War, Ron Catania felt great after attending the event. His employer in Meriden, the Bob’s Stores, donated $500 for the cause. He added that the event was unusual for him as nothing like it happened when he returned from Vietnam.
Also present during the ceremony was Garry Brumback, the Town Manager. Brumback was also a veteran and appreciated the event a lot. He stated that the event reflect how these young people are able to realize that there are bigger things to do and to accomplish while wearing their soccer jerseys instead of doing nothing or causing a lot of trouble. Brumback thanked the young men in soccer uniforms on behalf of all the veterans who have fought during the Veteran War, living and dead.
Wayne White, another veteran of the Vietnam War felt honored for what these fine young men in soccer uniforms did when he attended the event. He stated that the team did something phenomenal. He said that he is also willing to show his support to the guys.