PARAMUS, N.J. – After raising nearly $5,500 last year for autism awareness, the Paramus High School wrestling team decided to give back to a cause that hits close to home.
One of the members of the program was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and must overcome the challenges of his condition while being an active student athlete.
“We’ve witnessed the courage it takes to overcome it,” coach Chris Falato told the Daily Voice.
For the 2015-16 season, the Spartans plan to Take Down Type 1. Each wrestler must find a minimum of 10 sponsors. They get $3 for every pin, and a dollar for every win, forfeit or major decision.
The money is collected at the end of the season and goes towards both the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at Hackensack University Medical Center and the team for fundraising purposes.
It’s a win-win situation,” said Carol Daniele, whose son, Michael, wrestles at 220 pounds for the Spartans. “We’re giving back to a cause we believe in.
"All of our young men are dedicated student athletes. We hope that giving back broadens their sights and opens their hearts to want to help others.”
According to its website, JDRF's mission is to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and its complications through the support of research.
Daniele believes the Spartans can match last year’s totals from its Paramus Pins Down Autism fundraiser.
Michael and teammate Kyle Kaiser, who wrestles at 106 pounds, are among the team leaders in pinfall victories.
Michael has around 15 sponsors and has raised around $900 so far, his mother said. Kyle, a sophomore and county champion who has a dozen sponsors, racked up 25 wins – nearly 20 of them coming by way of fall – through January.
“It’s a good cause,” Kaiser’s father, Rob, told the Daily Voice. “We plan to make a nice donation.”
Paramus, one of the top public school teams in the county and state, swept state powerhouses High Point, Warren Hills and Cranford in a quad-meet last Saturday.
The Spartans have been dealing with injuries but improved to 14-3 on the season.
“We keep rolling on,” Falato said.
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