Gavin and Russell Kozora love Junior Achievement.

Original Story from Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania

Russell works at HarbisonWalker International in Moon Township, PA and is on the company's JA-Bowl-A-Thon committee. His son Gavin attends school in the Shaler School district. Shaler School district benefits from JA programming.

This is Russell's story:

This past May, Gavin missed his JA day at school. He didn't know it was JA Day until he returned from his absence the following week. Boy was he bummed. Gavin told me he missed his JA Day and he was really upset because someone took his materials from the class he missed, too! I could tell he was upset and disappointed. I told him maybe I could teach it next year, and help to ensure he doesn't miss JA day again.

We have a change jar in our house where we collect change and each time it's full we put the cash into accounts for our boys. This time though I asked Gavin what he wanted to do with his money. He said, "Give it to JA!" He knew I was on the committee and was involved with JA at work. I was very impressed that he wanted to do that. I took the time to tell him that if he wanted to give it to JA, daddy had been working to solicit donations for raffles to raise money and I could put his money into the raffles for gifts. I read him the Raffle prizes and told him he could pick 5 prizes. The one he wanted to win most was a wing party donated by Buffalo Wild Wings.

At the Bowl-A-Thon we shattered company records. Our goal was 100 people bowling and to raise $12,000 which was 100% growth doubling our previous year's effort. We had 110 bowlers, 25 lanes, and 24 teams, raising over $22,590. We have positively impacted 645 children in our area, and are currently the #1 Bowl-A-Thon in Western PA.

Toward the end of the event, the raffle prizes were being drawn. When they pulled my name for the Wing party, I knew my son was going to be excited. I texted my wife immediately to inform my son. When I got home he was running laps around the house with his excitement. It was so great to see my son make the decision on his own to help Junior Achievement. He has inspired me to want to do more. I'm hoping our company can become a sponsor of a school district and I can start to help by being a JA volunteer.

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