On June 1, an EF-3 tornado ripped through Western Massachusetts and caused millions of dollars worth of damage. Homes, businesses, restaurants and other establishments were left ravaged by the destruction.
One building that was particularly affected was Cathedral High School in Springfield, which was ripped apart by tornado damage and forced to shut down for the entire 2011-12 school year.
At nearby Agawam High School — a rival of Cathedral — junior Zack Sabadosa saw the destruction and took action. Sabadosa penned an essay asking for monetary help for Cathedral and sent it to ESPN and Powerade's Rise Up For Your School program.
"This school and the community was hit hard by the tornado, and there is no doubt that they are deserving of this help with their athletic programs," in part read Sabadosa's essay. "As I said, I attend Agawam High, and I have been brought up to hate Cathedral because they are a rival of ours, but no high school deserves what happened to them, and they need this boost to their school."
Contest judges were so moved to see a student submit an essay on behalf of his rival school, they awarded Cathedral a $20,000 grant to help rebuild the school and aid the athletic department.
"A student from a rival high school wrote the essay on Cathedral's behalf and explained the challenges the school faces with uniforms, facilities and equipment due to a tornado that hit Springfield," said Victoria Badiola, a brand manager for Powerade. "Not only were we affected by what Cathedral and the surrounding community has had to overcome, but the example of great sportsmanship really made the entry stand out."
Read more about Sabadosa's unselfish act by reading the full story from The Reminder Newspaper here.