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Record-breaking fundraiser boosts JROTC spirits

From 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. on Aug 28, the JROTC battalion hosted the very first of their series of car wash fundraisers at the Discount Tire on Highway 92. The hardworking cadets made $2,080, more than doubling their previous record.

“We do a car wash early on in the year because it is as much about making money and fundraising, as it is bonding,” said Col. Stepat.

The car wash is free, however many will make donations contributing to the fundraising nature of the event. The fundraiser has been a huge part of the ice-breaking process of the battalion. It helps build the team spirit and helps new cadets get comfortable with their peers.

“I always say that JROTC is fun with a purpose,” said Colonel Frederick Stepat. “There is a purpose beyond just making money, and that is bonding and teamwork.”

JROTC has been a staple of The King’s Academy for over a decade. Students from TKA and other schools join to help grow their practical skills and responsibility.

“The program really stretches how hard you can work towards a goal,” said junior Joshua Acklen. “You can learn a lot of things from doing different services.”

The JROTC Battalion has held carwashes since 2011. Most made only a couple hundred dollars.

The successful carwash raised the stakes for the remainder of the year. Having a record-breaking fundraiser early on has relieved stress for the leaders and cadets.

The car wash was already off to a promising start, having made

$1,040 in donations. Toward the end of the fundraiser, a retired officer paid the battalion a visit. She told Col. Stepat that whatever they made, she would match it. She also said she would come back for future car washes and continue to support them for the foreseeable future.

“God was so good to us and blessed our efforts,” said Col. Stepat. “Here was the secret: we prayed and said ‘God, please bless our efforts.’ Sure enough, He did, and we did so well.”

The battalion took this success to heart, and their hope for the rest of the year skyrocketed.

“Being this successful has definitely boosted our morale,” said senior Noah Wilkes. “Doubling our expectations in fundraising for a car wash has shown us if we work hard, we can achieve our goals.”

Wilkes, who has been a part of JROTC for his entire high school career, hopes to help the cadets continue to succeed in the future. As this was only the first car wash under Wilkes’ leadership, the battalion has high hopes for the future.

“If we can continue the amazing progress we had with our first car wash and put that towards the next major event that we have, then we can really grow as a unit,” said Acklen.

The JROTC plans to use the funds for events such as Raiders meets

and the Military Ball.

The car wash had two teams: a wash team and a dry team. Cadets Carson Berggren and Avery Smith clean the last car of the car wash.

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