Students from Benton Hall Academy in Little Falls and Fisher Elementary School in Mohawk have been donating money to honor the memory of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The money will benefit the Richard Family Fund, as Martin's father, mother and sister were injured in the April 15 terrorist attack. Bill Richard, 42, lost hearing from the explosion and had leg wounds from the bomb shrapnel, Denise Richard, 43, was seriously wounded in the eye and Jane Richard, 7, lost the bottom part of her left leg.
The moneys raised will help with the family's medical expenses and recovery, Herkimer County Hunger Coalition Founder Ray Lenarcic said Wednesday afternoon.
He added each student donor will receive an “I Remembered Martin” sticker, while the two schools will receive Fallen Star Memorial Certificates in memory of Army SSgt. Francis G. Phillips IV and Marine SSgt. Eric D. Christian.
Phillips, 28, of Meridian, died May 4 when a bomb exploded near the armored vehicle carrying him and four others in the Maiwand region of Afghanistan and Christian, 39, of Warwick, was killed with another Marine in western Afghanistan on May 4 when an Afghan soldier who was embedded with an American unit for patrol duty shot them.
“The hunger coalition is certainly impressed with the efforts of the faculty, staff and students to honor the memory of Martin Richard,” Lenarcic said during a visit to Fisher Elementary School. “Their generosity is especially poignant during this time of year.”
He added the coalition would match what is raised up to $500 and said Benton Hall Academy, through a “mini-marathon” on May 16, raised $360 for the cause.
Fisher Elementary School's collection has been extended through the end of the week.
In addition to making donations to the Richard Family Fund, Lenarcic said students in Patty Johnson's third-grade class at Benton Hall Academy made “thinking of you cards” for Henry Richard and Jane Richard. Henry, 12, was uninjured in the bombing.
“It was an opportunity for the students to let Henry, Jane and the entire Richard family know they are thinking about them,” he said.
Anyone interested in contributing to the cause may make a check payable to the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and mail it to P.O. Box 622, Herkimer, NY 13350.
Donations are tax deductible.