PV seniors raise money for Veterans

Donations given to the American Legion

Two Veterans sat at tables to collect donations from PV students and staff. The fundraiser took place on May 23 and 24.

Contributed via Cole Donnellan

Two Veterans sat at tables to collect donations from PV students and staff. The fundraiser took place on May 23 and 24.

Tara Healy, Staff Editor

Pascack Valley seniors Cole Donnellan and Megan Viganola raised over $600 for the American Legion with the Veterans from Post 162 on May 23 and May 24. They set up two tables to collect money, one by the front door and one by the side door near the new gymnasium.

The idea to raise money for Veterans at PV came from a project that Donnellan and Viganola were assigned in history teacher Jeff Jasper’s Public Affairs class. They had to find a problem in the community and come up with a solution.

“We decided to do Veteran Affairs mostly because Cole’s uncle had an organization last year to prevent suicide in Veterans and treating their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” Viganola said. “He ended up taking his own life last year, so we wanted to contribute to that cause.”

Viganola and Donnellan received gratitude from the American Legion for embarking on this project.

“The most important part was the opportunity to greet so many students, many of whom do not know or have family members who are Veterans, and to impress on them the need for everyone to support those who have served and sacrificed,” said Douglas Frank, Vice Commander of American Legion Post 162.

This project was not Donnellan’s first time fundraising for Veterans.

“Everyone on my dad’s side of the family is a Veteran and I just grew up around that environment,” Donnellan said.

Donnellan helps out with RockVets, a non-profit organization for New York Veterans, and works on fundraisers, charity events, and rus the social media. He also has his own organization called Peg Leg 22. According to the website, Donnellan has “taken this opportunity to bring awareness, with classmates directly help combat Veterans with needs and raise money that will be used to directly work on projects for our Veterans in need.”

“It is named after one of my uncle’s previous companies,” Donnellan said. “Twenty two stands for the 22 Veterans that take their lives everyday.”

Donnellan and Viganola both hope that this fundraiser will raise more awareness about Veteran Affairs at Pascack Valley.

“A lot of times now, kids our age are not really aware of what is going on around them,” Donnellan said. “Half the time, they have their head shoved in their phone. It sounds cliché, but a lot of people don’t really have that social awareness.”