The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 17, 2010


In the spirit of the season – caring Carlisle students raise money to aid injured stranger

Sam Carr, who led the fundraising to help purchase a motorized wheelchair for injured football player Corey (“Cooper”) Doucette, receives a hug from Lisa Doucette Johanson, Cooper’s stepmom. Sam presented her with a check on behalf of the Carlisle school kids’ fundraising efforts. (Courtesy photo)

Sometimes a story touches us so deeply that we are moved to action.

Such was the case for 13-year-old Samuel Carr of Cross Street when he heard the tragic story of 15-year-old football player Corey Doucette. Known as “Cooper” to his friends, the Nashua, New Hampshire sophomore broke his C-5 vertebrae and damaged his spinal cord on the very first day of tackling drills back in August.

When Sam heard the story, he decided he had to do something even though he had never met Cooper, ultimately enlisting the support of the Carlisle school’s student council to run a Penny War.

During the first few weeks of November, children threw their change into large blue water jugs in the school cafeteria. Others aided in the collection, counting and wrapping of all the coins. Sam was especially grateful to fellow eighth-grader Molly Callahan, who despite being temporarily wheelchair bound after a foot operation, helped him throughout the process, including counting the 31,250 pennies and other change.

The fifth grade raised the most change during the contest, although all who contributed should consider themselves winners. When Sam presented the check for $312.50 at a fundraiser in Lynn, Cooper’s stepmom, Lisa Doucette Johanson, broke down and wrapped him in an enormous tearful hug. Unable to speak for a few moments, she finally shook her head and said, “This is just incredible.”

And considering the difference the money will make – helping fund the purchase of a motorized wheelchair – we would tend to agree. Bravo Carlisle kids! Through your donations you have touched and helped someone in need.

If anyone is interested in Cooper’s medical progress or other fundraising efforts, there is a Facebook group for Cooper Doucette. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito