by Gabby Redpath
As the second annual Mr. Oakdale contest approaches, students are curious about the competition and the senior contestants. The contest not only brings laughter and school spirit to the Oakdale community, but also raises money for charity. Each Mr. Oakdale contestant chooses a charity and will spend the week of April 30th attempting to raise the most money for that organization. Who are they? What organization have they chosen?
Oakdale Nic Curtis is entering the competition to support Muddy Paws. Curtis is looking forward to supporting this organization because he is passionate about animals and feels like the Mt. Airy institution could use more funding. He feels a connection to the charity because that is where he adopted his own family dog.
Oakdale Joe Gula also has a personal connection with his charity, the Special Olympics. Gula’s childhood best friend’s little brother has autism, and Gula stated he saw the joy that physical activities brought to his best friend’s brother. Gula also thought about the other children with disabilities he saw during his time on the Unified Bocce team when he chose this charity. “I just want all of the athletes with disabilities to have the best experience possible,” stated Gula.
Oakdale Peyton Coady chose his charity, ZERO, because of his former coach, Ben Wright. Coach Wright impacted many of Oakdale’s football players before he passed away from prostate cancer. ZERO is an organization attempting to bring the number of individuals with prostate cancer to zero, and hopefully the money Coady will donate makes a difference.
Oakdale Dakota Harich will be raising money for Kyle’s Crusaders. Kyle Addington was a student at Oakdale, and the charity is raising money for Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation in his name. Harrich expressed, “I can’t think of a better charity to raise money towards for Mr. Oakdale because it is the community that has seen his strength and influence.”
Oakdale Zach Turner is entering Mr. Oakdale to raise money for Relay For Life. Turner has long supported Relay For Life, and Mr. Oakdale is another way for him to raise funds for their cause. When Turner was ten years old, his father passed away from stage four lung cancer. Ever since then, the foundation has been important to him.
Kevin Lamendola will be supporting Rock Creek School, a school for children with disabilities. Lamendola feels strongly about assisting kids with disabilities, so he knew he wanted to choose an organization that helps them. He specifically chose Rock Creek School because his close friend has a little brother attending school there.
Ben Simonica will be donating to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Simonica feels a connection to this charity because his girlfriend’s aunt recently passed away from MS. He hopes to both raise funds and raise awareness for the disease by choosing this charity for Mr. Oakdale.
Matt Dow, who is very educated on Cystic Fibrosis, will be raising money to help find a cure for the disease. CF is referred to as an “invisible disease” because you cannot identify someone with the disease based on any physical signs. Dow hopes his involvement in Mr. Oakdale will help bring an end to CF.
Sean McGaughey will be entering the race to win Mr. Oakdale to support Silverado Stables. This Thurmont-based charity provides therapeutic riding experiences for individuals between the ages of two and eighty with special disabilities. McGaughey chose Silverado Stables because it is a local charity and he’ll be able to see the benefits of the money he helps to raise.