November 13, 2008

Lavoie fundraiser draws massive crowd

More than 500 people turned out for a fundraiser in Forestville tonight to help out the family of wounded Iraq War veteran Matt Lavoie.
"It's overwhelming," said his mother, Pam Lavoie. "It just tugs at my heartstrings."
Corp. Matt Lavoie is recovering in a military hospital in the nation's capital from an explosion that nearly killed him at the end of September. He's had 10 surgeries so far and faces more.
His right arm was mangled and it remains unclear whether a full recovery is possible.
His mother said she wished her son -- "my hero" -- could have seen the massive turnout, which included members of his old wrestling team, city leaders and scores of veterans.
Pam Lavoie said it is ironic that a year ago she was raising money at the American Legion to help the troops over in Iraq and now the community is doing so much to help her family cope with the expenses involved in helping her son get better.
"I love Bristol," she said.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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Anonymous said...

What a great tribute to a soldier! That is fantastic. I hope it helps his mother manage to stay near and support him in his recovery. It's amazing what a lot of people, each giving a little money, can do.
Hey, I wonder how many people would have known about this if it weren't for the stories and notices about it in the Press?

Anonymous said...

And how many other people wouldn't have known the kind of love and support there are for people in this community who do brave and heroic things if the BP wasn't there to catalogue them.
Strike that. In this case, I'm sure the outpouring would have been just as strong had it happened in a no-newspaper town.

Anonymous said...

Good point, 9:20 PM. Without the Press I would not have known about Matt, his injury or the dinner I went to this evening.
I dread the day that we have no paper in Bristol. We will have no idea what is going on in our own town.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that Bristol would have rallied to help a wounded soldier's family. But there is no way that people would have responded like they did if Steve had not written that nice story after talking with Matt and if the editors had not put that story on the front page with Matt's picture. They showed how Matt was a hero. They showed how he was hurt. They made us care. So we did what they knew we would: we helped.
Anyone who cannot see the central role of the newspaper in this is living in a dream world. I KNOW THAT MATT'S FAMILY IS GRATEFUL FOR THAT STORY BECAUSE IT TOLD US THAT OUR FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR WAS A HERO. I do not get the paper but as I think about this fundraiser I feel guilty that I am helping to make the paper die. We do need it. I think this is one of those cases where people just assume something will always be there even if they do not help it survive and now because so many of us did not subscribe or buy the paper it won't be there anymore.
I do hope that somebody steps up to the plate and takes it over.

Adam said...

Perfectly said, 9:51.

Tim Gamache said...

Would like to express my deepest appreciation to all those who came to the fundraiser.Couldn't help but notice how the combination of the piece in the Press(well done Steve) and how typically Bristolites will support its' men and women in uniform made it so the tickets practically "sold themselves."I have been to numerous fundraisers in the past ,but NONE compared to what I saw and heard last evening.You can say what you want about our hometown,but it's moments like last night that make me very proud to say I am from Bristol,Ct.!

Hypocracy ?? said...

Just curious ..... How many attendees do you think voted for obama and found it necessary to attend to relieve some guilt ??

Anonymous said...


I understand where you are coming from, but you do the people of Bristol a disservice when you claim that Bristol people (only) support veterans and veteran activities.

I do not want to take anything away from the Lavoie family: they are going through tough times amd I am sure that appreciate all that is being done for them.

However, there are numerous other benefits thgat have been extremely successful. IT IS the nature of Bristol to support those in need.

I have been to many benefits, and those others that have been also, will attest to the warmth, compassion and support that Bristol people have for the young, the old, male, female that are in need.

I compliment the people of Bristol for supporting those in need, whether they are part of a small or large group. In fact some just have their friends pulling for them, but it always seems to work.

Tim. keep up the good work, but keep in mind that there are others out there who regulary respond too.

Tim Gamache said...

I may have chosen my words poorly in my prior post.It was never my intention to omit those citizens of Bristol to whom you refer.I myself have witnessed the compassion the citizens of our hometown show for ALL those in need.I concur with your opinion completely.

Anonymous said...


Don't you know it's Bush's fault this kid was injured (in their opinion)?

What get's me is that the people giving praise to the man and this event still don't have the guts to post their names? Are they afraid that even when writing something positive, they might be IDed as one who posts here?

The point you're correct about "Hypocisy?", is that they're trying to relieve some kind of guilt they have.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tim.

I knew and know you are a big enough person to accept constuctive comments.

Again, keep up all your good work.