Community shows support for Brandon Allen

 

By Joel Charron

 

When Brandon Allen runs in the IAAF World Cross Country Championship later this month in Poland, he will have the support of the entire community behind him.

Last Tuesday evening Amherstburg showed its support of Allen by packing the Verdi Club for a pasta dinner fundraiser in his honour.

Approximately 350 attended the dinner, much to the surprise of Allen.

“I definitely didn’t expect this many people,” said Allen. “It feels great knowing that this many people are here to support me.”

The dinner was organized by Creative Child Learning Centre owner Michelle DiCarlo and volunteer Amherst track coach Stephanie Bondy.

The Verdi Club banquet hall was decorated in a sea of red and white while dominantly displaying the maple leaf in recognition of Team Canada.

“Brandon’s face was priceless when he walked in here,” said DiCarlo. “It’s an exciting time for him and we want him to know that the community is standing behind him.”

According to DiCarlo, after expenses the dinner was able to raise $4,000, which will be placed in Great Windsor Track and Field Club trust fund in Allen’s name. After paying off his Poland trip, any money left over, Allen will use for future track meets.

DiCarlo said Amherstburg is a community that always “bends over backwards for its residents.”

 

Surrounded by his family and friend, Brandon Allen (middle) thanked the capcity crowd at the Verdi Club for showing thier support. After expenses the dinner raised $4,000.

Surrounded by his family and friend, Brandon Allen (middle) thanked the capcity crowd at the Verdi Club for showing thier support. After expenses the dinner raised $4,000.

“When there is any type of need people are there and want to help,” said DiCarlo. “We come together for different reasons and this reason hit home for a lot of people with children and athletics.”

After dinner Allen and his family thanked all for attending.

“Thank you all for showing your support, this is truly fantastic,” said Allen’s father Rick.

Rick praised his son for having the drive and determination to chase his dream to race for his country.

“He has put in so many hours of training and has sacrificed a lot to get where he his today. How somebody can sit in a bath tub full of ice and call it rejuve  nating, I will never know,” joked Rick.

When Allen took the microphone he was very gracious in thanking the audience.

“Having you all here mean a lot to me,” said Allen.

Along with many other, Allen’s thanked DiCarlo and Bondy for organizing such an event.

“No one know how much time, effort and money you poured into this event and I want to thank you from the bottom of the heart,” he said.

Allen’s Amherst track coach, Dave Scott said Allen is a “special kind of athlete.”

“Brandon has a bright future ahead of him,” said Scott. “Athletes like Brandon don’t come around every often. He’s a special kid and that’s why his where he is today.”

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