This letter is written by PaulMichael Mullally:
It was extremely self-satisfying to coordinate Swoosh for Change. Meeting the Kowalski family was inspiring and gave all the time and dedication that was put into the event, purpose and meaning. I could not be more honored to have led this movement and be a member of the amazing team that helped establish such a legendary event at Morgan.
Thank YOU to anyone who believed in my team's ability to pull this off; your support has an endless value and your compliments take a special place in my heart. To my teachers, my biological family, my friends, and my second family, the Morgan Community, thank you for being apart of one the real highlights of my high school career. Last night's event is something that should never be forgotten, truly remarkable. It was more than just a basketball game, it was a movement for change.
Prospering over $2,000 and racking in over 400 people, Swoosh for Change nearly doubled the results of last year’s event. “It was at a staff meeting in February, which I presented the idea for Swoosh for Change 2013 to the Morgan faculty, that I stated my personal goals for this year’s event. I told the staff I’d like to see us double the stats that last year’s event brought. When I saw the huge crowd, the packed student section, and the 100s of adults who came out to support last Thursday, I knew my pre-mature words became true,” says PaulMichael Mullally, event coordinator.
Though the numbers are remarkable, they were not the main objective for Swoosh for Change’s agenda. The Morgan Class of 2014 sponsored event brought hundreds of students, Morgan staff members, citizens of Clinton and Newtown together for one memorable night in honor of Chase Kowalski, a victim of the Sandy Hook Tragedy.
In honor of Chase, the Morgan students, Morgan faculty, and Swoosh event coordinators wore new Swoosh for Change 2013 t-shirts with a green Sandy Hook ribbon on the right arm on the shirt. Also in memory of Chase and all the victims of the tragic event at Sandy Hook, Lucas Edwards, a Morgan student who was accepted and plans to attend Berkeley College of Music, performed a bone-chilling performance of "Hallelujah," at the end of his band’s, Summer Came Slowly, half-time performance. The tribute of “Hallelujah” was also performed at Chase Kowalski’s funeral. To view the performance check out fb.me/swooshforchange.
Although not made public the night of the event, as a sign of respect, Swoosh did host extremely honorable guests, the Kowalski family. “To have the Kowalski family attend Swoosh for Change gave me a sense of purpose. Meeting the family made coordinating the event worth something. It wasn’t just the usual donation you throw towards a ‘good cause,’ it was something different that gave the community a common bond,” said PaulMichael Mullally. “At the conclusion of the event, the family thanked me and my team-member, Liz Bradley and I just thought to myself, I should be thanking the family, right? The feeling of “doing good and giving back” within the community finally came to the surface for me and I’ve realized its importance. I’m positive, as I look back through the social-media reactions of the event that this feeling will spread; ultimately creating what Clinton is calling the Kindness Revolution.”
It would be ignorant not to mention those who made Swoosh for Change extremely successful. Mainly consisting of three dedicated members, Laurie DelGrego, Liz Bradley, and PaulMichael Mullally, the Swoosh for Change crew would like to especially thank anyone who volunteered their time to help plan, play, or support this movement. Laurie DelGrego’s tireless efforts, work, and dedication to the event was remarkable. Thank you to Liz Bradley for her hard-work, dedication, and ambition, to make Swoosh for Change memorable.
As we move past last night's success, I ask one thing: do not forget to keep the positive "do-good" attitude alive; don't wait until something tragic occurs, stay pro-active and positive. I think we should all realize the tragic and unfortunate events in Newtown are something we should never have to experience in the future. Life is all about interaction, having an ebb and flow, and throwing an occasional smile or too to show your love or appreciation for someone or something. Why ruin this or only have a positive environment in the wake of a tragic event? Keep your spirit alive and let this be our one and only lesson in kindness.
To the 26 lives lost, we honor you for the lesson you have brought to not just the United States, but the world.
See you in March of 2014.