A summer of hard work resulted in a fantastic end on Wednesday, as Tolland Middle School student Annalee Hughes presented Ellington Marine Corp Sgt. Greg Caron with a $1,500 check to benefit the Greg Caron Family Fund.
Hughes has been recycling cans and bottles since the beginning of the summer and has given half of her proceeds to Caron and the rest to the Wounded Warrior Project.
"She lifts my spirit up," Caron said at the presentation ceremony Wednesday at Tolland Middle School. "What you did, it's overwhelming to me."
Caron lost both of his legs below the knee almost exactly a year ago when he stepped on an IED while deployed in Afghanistan. After completing rehab, he is now walking with prosthetics.
State Representative Bryan Hurlburt commended Hughes for her devotion to community service.
"Things like this echo throughout the community," he said. "People don't realize how far it goes and how many lives it touches."
Caron said that support from residents like Hughes means a lot to veterans.
"It's heartwarming," he said. "It makes me feel good about myself and what I've done for the country."
The Greg Caron Family Fund helps pay for Caron's medical expenses and will help fund the construction of his new home in Ellington. Tolland's Nordic Builders are managing the project with Building Homes for Heroes.
Hughes said she will continue her recycling project.
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