Courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

AUGUSTA — A year after turning into a virtual event due to the pandemic, the St. Michael School and Travis Mills Walk-A-Thon returned as an in-person event on May 19.

Now that the pledges and donations have officially been rectified, it’s safe to call the annual event an unmitigated success once again.

“The school raised $17,380.87!” said Kevin Cullen, principal of St. Michael School. “The goal was to raise enough money to pay for a family to spend two weeks at the foundation’s retreat in Belgrade Lakes, where they can participate in adaptive activities and meet other veteran families.”

Mission accomplished as the latest in a long line of events and fundraisers organized by the school for the Travis Mills Foundation met its goal. The foundation assists veterans who have been injured during active duty. Mills, who is one of five quadruple amputees to survive injuries during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was in attendance for the walk-a-thon on May 19, spending time with students and thanking them for their contributions.

“I got to really get more in-depth with the classes one on one and things like that so I really am thankful for the school here and all they’re doing and just letting me be a part of their winning team,” said Mills.

“We wanted the kids to have fun,” said Jennifer Sparda, a school parent who served as a co-chair on the Walk-A-Thon Committee. “We didn’t want to give up the day because everyone has worked hard and looks forward to the day to be active and do something healthy.”

“Students also collected items to donate to military service members stationed away from their families, wrote thank you notes to our service members, and created flags and signs to hang up during the event,” said Cullen. “The efforts and energy of our volunteers and the Walk-A-Thon Committee were overwhelming. We are so blessed to have such an amazing St. Michael School community.”