Getting back on their feet: Chapin students help classmate Jack Enright, local veterans with donation

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Local veterans will get to enjoy the great outdoors while a high school senior gets physical therapy to help him walk again, and all because of the generosity of the Chapin community and the hard work of Chapin High students.

Members of Chapin High School’s Student Government on Wednesday presented two checks totaling $5,200 during the annual Winter Giving Assembly. Students have been working since August to raise funds for two causes: Freedom and Hope Foundation and their classmate Jack Enright.

“When it’s student-led, it’s special,” Principal Akil Ross said.

“It’s amazing to see what high school students can do,” agreed student body president Mario Macaluso.

Enright was seriously injured in March during a lacrosse game and has been working hard to regain the ability to walk on his own. Macaluso said choosing Enright as one of this year’s beneficiaries was an easy decision for the student government officers.

“(He’s) overcome impossible odds,” Macaluso said.

Enright and his family received $3,000 to send him to Project Walk Atlanta. Enright said he will be able to receive three hours of physical therapy a day compared with the two hours a week he gets now.

“Any chance to get more rehab is definitely beneficial,” he said.

Enright, a senior, said he’s motivated by what awaits him in the summer at Chapin High’s commencement.

“We know he’ll walk across the stage at graduation,” Macaluso said. “We will continue to stand behind him.”

Chapin High students gathered donations at football games, sold American flags and hosted a dodgeball tournament to raise money for Enright’s trip to Project Walk Atlanta and to ensure area veterans have access to recreational therapy. Students raised $2,200 for Freedom and Hope Foundation, a South Carolina nonprofit founded in 2010 that provides fishing and hunting outings as recreational therapy for wounded military veterans and for children with life-threatening diseases.

[cp_quote style=”quote_right_dark”]“It’s amazing to see what high school students can do.”student body president Mario Macaluso[/cp_quote]

Executive Director Terry Cotney thanked the students for “getting involved with our fallen and wounded warriors.” He estimated there are 400 living in the Chapin area, including veteran Robert Barber.

“Without the support of the community, coming back to civilian life would be a lot tougher,” Barber said.

Twenty of Chapin High’s student clubs also collected groceries for the District Five Foundation Snack Pack program. Representative Trish Edwards said 650 at-risk students were served last year.

Chapin High previously raised funds to support The Justin Pepper Foundation, Honor Flight SC and Camp Kemo.

Categories: Education, Lexington County