Each year the Paul Smith’s College Veterans Club holds a push-ups fundraiser for a family, child or individual in need. Proceeds from the 2017 event will go toward Matthew Powers and his family, who lost their Saranac Lake home to a fire earlier this year.
From Steven Vincent, a veteran and student at Paul Smith’s College:
Matthew Powers is a decorated infantry combat veteran who served with the 2/108th Infantry Battalion of the N.Y. Army National Guard in Afghanistan. He is a hero to his home town of Saranac Lake and to his family. Throughout his life, he has selflessly served others and he always strives for success. On January 16th, 2017, he and his family lost their home on Lake St. in Saranac Lake due to an electrical fire that had started within the house. This comes at a time of the year that is very hard for all families here in the Adirondacks. However, this is not just a hardship, it’s sheer devastation for the Powers family. Matthew and Cynthia have four children, ages 2, 5, 13 and 14.
This year’s push-ups fundraiser is the club’s fifth consecutive. It began in 2013 to help a student veteran with hospital bills after having a child born ill. In 2014, the event helped a family purchase a power lift chair for a van to better accommodate a child with neurological disorder. The following year the Veterans Club sponsored a Saranac Lake girl with brain cancer, while 2016’s event hit even closer to home as the veterans’ efforts went toward helping a fellow Smitty diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Vincent called the push-ups event “veterans’ proudest moment during our time at Paul Smith’s” and hopes for a great turnout to help the Powers family recover some of what was lost.