Philippines

ConVal player raises funds

When the news of last month’s devastating typhoon in the Philippines reached ConVal student Josh Bartsch, he knew that he had to help lift up the victims any way he could. Bartsch, who was adopted from an orphanage in Quezon City, Philippines when he was 2 1/2 years old, did just that.

“Because the disaster hit in the Philippines, it made me want to do something special to help,” Bartsch said. He got up in front his football teammates at the team banquet (“He was nervous about that,” said his father, Steve Bartsch, ConVal’s Dean of Students) and presented a fundraising idea that was right up their alley — a lift-a-thon. “The goal was to have each player get five people to pledge a penny per pound,” Bartsch said; then, the team would do bench presses, squats and deadlifts and watch the money come rolling in. The rest of his teammates took to the idea right away and came out in large numbers to help support those affected in Josh’s homeland. “I was very pleased with how many participated,” Bartsch said. “Over 20 of the guys participated.” In the end, the team raised $667, well beyond the penny per pound goal. “A lot of people were really generous,” Bartsch said. The team presented the money to Lina Blair of Peterborough’s Mariposa Museum, a native of the Philippines who has been spearheading a local fundraising movement along with her husband David. The money will go to Kids International Ministries, a nonprofit organization that has recently sent a team to the Philippines to assist in the recovery.

Bartsch said that he doesn’t really have any friends or relatives still living in the Philippines who were affected by the typhoon, but the Filipino culture means a lot to his family. He has a younger sister who was adopted from a different island in the Philippines, and the typhoon traveled just between their two former homes.

“The lift-a-thon was an experience that really opened my eyes to problems that aren’t my own,” Bartsch said, “and it made me really grateful for what I do have. I would not hesitate to do something like this in the future if another disaster happened.”

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