MILITARY MATTERS: Boy raising thousands of dollars and scoops for troops
ROME, Maine (WTVM) - A young boy is saluting wounded veterans by giving them a chance to take part in his favorite summer activity.
“I’ll tell you what, this check presentation means everything. We’re so fortunate to have families be able to come back out,” Travis Mills Foundation Founder Sgt. Travis Mills said.
It was the at the 4th of July parade in Belgrade, Maine in 2017 where Michael Ahern first met Travis Mills, who lost both arms and legs in Afghanistan. the now-11-year-old developed a relationship with the veteran and wanted to help his foundation, which allows recalibrated vets to enjoy an action-packed vacation with their families.
Ahern founded “Scoops For Troops” and donated $400 to the foundation so that kids of the veterans at the retreat could take part in a summer activity he enjoys.
“My favorite thing to do in summer vacation when we’re up here is taking the boat out to get some ice cream. And I wanted other kids to experience that,” Scoops for Troops founder Michael Ahern said.
After that initial donation, Ahern wanted to do more and approached the foundation.
“I asked them how much money it is to host a week, and they said $30,000 dollars, and it just clicked, I wanted to do it,” Ahern said.
An employee with the Travis Mills Foundation reacted: “There are not many kids like him, he really believes in giving back to our veterans, and to the community that we love so much here in Maine.”
Two years ago, Ahern had a new goal of raising $30,000 that would allow eight veterans and their families to stay at the retreat. This young man raised the money in no time, but the pandemic delayed the delivery of the funds. Flash forward to this past Sunday afternoon, Independence Day, and Ahern was finally able to present a check for over $31,000 to the foundation.
“He’s going to help a lot of families with his donations and these funds. We’re going to bring them out and show them, hey life goes on. Don’t live life on the sidelines. Be active in your community, be active in your society, and to always live out the motto of never give up, never quit, and that wouldn’t be possible without people out there like Michael and his family, so again so grateful, humbled really, and just all around excited for the future,” Sgt. Travis Mills said.
Before he goes to college, Ahern plans to have a lot more check presentations through scoops for troops.
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