Groups Supported Through the Officer Collier Memorial Fund
To compete, to remember
Lowell High wrestling mat honors officer lost in marathon blast
By Kori Tuitt, [email protected]
LOWELL -- Sean Collier's name has been synonymous with heroism. Now, the name of the late officer who lost his life in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing will live on as part of the athletics at Lowell High School. A wrestling mat, worth $12,000, was recently donated to the high school. The red mat reads "Officer Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund." Richard Sullivan, a member of the Collier fund, said the goal is to start a wrestling program at the Stoklosa Middle School.
"Originally, we were going to put it there, but then more thought got put into it and we thought it would get more use at the high school with Sean's logo on it," said Sullivan, of Dracut. He said the idea for the wrestling mat came from himself, Kyle Dolliver, a teacher at the Stoklosa Middle School, and Joe Rogers, Collier's stepfather. Collier was an MIT police officer with roots in Wilmington. He graduated from Wilmington High School in 2004 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Salem State College in 2009, according to the memorial fund's website. At just 26 years old, Collier was killed in the line of duty on April 15, 2013. Rogers said when he first came to New England, he settled in Lowell and has lived around the city for the past 30 years. He currently lives in Wilmington.
"I felt like I know the city, I know a lot of the people. We get a lot of support for the charity out of Lowell and the surrounding towns," Rogers said. "So, I just wanted to give back. This is the type of program I think Sean would have liked." With sports programs like these, Rogers said it keeps students off the streets and gives them something productive to do. Lowell High wrestling coach George Bossi agreed. "That's why we're into sports," Bossi said. "We save kids all the time, not only just wrestling, every activity. Keep them off the streets."
Bossi said the oldest wrestling mats the high school has date back to 1964. The new mat, he said, is beautiful. "It's very portable and lightweight and they're very adaptable to today's situation," Bossi said. "Big, heavy mats we had years ago are too heavy and they're very hard to transport." The ultimate goal is to have a wrestling team or club or intramural program in each of the middle schools in the city, Bossi said. "It's not something where we're just going to buy the mat and say, 'See ya later,' and just forget about what we're doing," Sullivan said. "We're trying to make the connection in Lowell with these kids and give them a reason to want to go do stuff."
5th Annual Boston Strong Memorial Basketball Tournament
Brandon Odom Skills & Drills Academy
Boston Judo Fund
Saving a Hero’s Place
Saving a Hero’s Place is a volunteer group founded by police officers in San Antonio, Texas. Officer Tommy Capell, his wife and a couple of police buddies started this charity. They build Honor Chairs for the Roll Call room commemorate officers who have died in the line of duty.
When an Officer makes the ultimate sacrifice, his/her presence is missed. The Honor Chair is placed in the roll call room as a reminder that even though they are not there physically, the Officer will always be with you as you head out to the battles, carrying on the watch… carrying on the watch…
This charity was started because of Sean’s death. Here is their story.
Saving A Hero’s Place, Inc. was formed through tragedy. In 2013, I was contacted by another Police Officer to build a chair similar to several chairs that were placed at another sub station years back. This chair would be in honor of a San Antonio Police Officer who died in the performance of his duty. The chair was built March 2013 and placed at the sub station where the officer worked. The following month, on April 18, 2013, MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was killed in the line of duty by the Boston bombers. Officer Sean Collier was sitting in his patrol vehicle serving his community. Unable to sleep for weeks, I knew something needed to be done for this officer. I immediately got with my wife Robbie Capell and two fellow classmates Brandon Bunch and Michael Pullen. It was decided that an Honor Chair was just the answer. MIT Police was contacted and welcomed the idea of an Honor Chair. After quickly raising money from the community, friends, and family, The four of us traveled by vehicle over 2,000 miles to deliver the honor chair. Officer Sean Colliers honor chair was presented on May 28, 2013. The emotions that came with this honor chair, and seeing what the chair meant to the MIT Police department, made us all realize we were not done.
I have added a picture of the chair.
They have a website and a Facebook page
Jonny Castro Art: Portraits of Valor
Jonny Castro is a Philadelphia Police Officer. His job with the police department is that of a Forensic Composite Artist. He paints portraits for the families of first responder killed in the line of duty. Here is a newspaper article about him: https://www.policeone.com/quiet-warrior/articles/372739006-Courage-on-canvas-How-a-forensic-artists-portraits-give-fallen-cops-new-life/
His Facebook page has a several videos about him and his portraits
Here is the main Facebook page
Police Unity Tour
The primary purpose of the Police Unity Tour is to raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty. The secondary purpose is to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.
Salem State University – Sean A Collier Criminal Justice Scholarship
Annual Award is given for students majoring in criminal justice.