Students of Matawan's Martial Arts Arena Honored for Charitable Work
Their fundraising efforts supported the St. Vincent de Paul Society
The students raised $1,711.29 on behalf of St. Vincent de Paul by tagging outside of local stores including Platinum Hand Car Wash in Keyport, Trattoria Rustica, Abbate Bakery and Bagel Time & Deli on five separate days in December. A donation jar was also placed inside of Airport Plaza Bar & Liquors for two weeks.
The goal of the fundraising was to support the Keyport chapter of St. Vincent de Paul and help them purchase food and gifts for those in need during the holiday season.
Any person who donated over five dollars also received a "Belt in a Bag," which contained a symbollic white beltand gift certificate for a trial martial arts or fitness class at Martial Arts Arena.
However, according to John Arena, owner and master instructor at Martial Arts Arena, the fundraising was about more than the money, it was about instilling the importance of kindness and community service in each of his young students.
"I just think it was a great effort by the kids. The kids stood out in the cold. They had the elements to deal with and they did it," Arena said. "I'm really happy that the mayor took the time to honor these kids. This is going to be something that lives with them. It's a sense of accomplishment."
The students honored were:
Maggie Animas, Eric Arena, Justin Arena, Jake Arena, Matthew August, Ezra Caspi, Erin Creed, Adam Dillner, Samantha Dillner, Bella Foley, Paul Jardine, Brook Jardine, Paige Jardine, Victoria Manzi, Ryan Marut, Billy O'Keefe, Michael O'Keefe, Ian Pizzolo, Elena Potter, Mitch Rubinstein, Trevor Wood
Nick Manzi, Rique DeSousa, John Arena and Ellen Katcher were honored as well. Arena said that none of these efforts would have been possible without the help of the parents and the local businesses.