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Raiders and Indians raise money for Heart Foundation in "Coin Wars". Be part of it!

POSTED November 23, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Competitiveness comes in all forms and on all fronts.

None greater than when it comes to beating a rival at Thanksgiving time on the gridiron or in this case, off of it as well.

The Torrington Raiders and Watertown Indians will face off on Wednesday night in their 51st meeting but before the two rivals battle it out on the Robert H. Frost, there will have already been a winner or should I say, winners.

You see, at the end of the school day today, (Tuesday) a pair of jugs that had been placed at both schools on Friday will be collected and counted to see which school raised the most money in coin to donate to the Heart Foundation, a cause near and dear to Raider assistant coach Andrew Therriault and his son Parker.

Parker, now three, was diagnosed with Shones Complex. A rare congestive heart defect when he was born. The condition effects the left side of his heart, the one responsible for pumping oxygenated blood throughout his boy.

Young Parker has heart surgery five days after he came into this world in an effort to open that area of his heart, a procedure known as a Coarctation of the Aorta.

Since then, Parker has been a regular at Raider football practices over the past two years and has been an inspiration to any who come in contact with him.     

The Torrington football parents group, led by Tara Curry, wanted to do something special for their young Raider.

“I had mentioned to Gaitan (head coach Rodriguez) that we wanted to do something for the Heart Foundation,” Curry said. “We wanted to do something called “Coin Wars” in order to raise money and have a competition between the schools. It’s the start of something I hope can be really amazing throughout the years. It shows our communities can come together for a common cause.”

It’s amazing how great it is to see the student/athletes that fill our local schools getting so involved. It seems to come to most of the kids naturally and they seem to love it.

A little extra competition is never a bad thing, especially when it can help out a great family.

Coach Therriault has been at the forefront in the effort to raise awareness about the condition his son has and he is humbled by how others wish to help as well.          

“I’ve done things in the past to try and raise awareness,” Therriault said. “We try and do what we can in our little corner of Connecticut. It’s good to see it take a little life of its own.”

As for our friend Parker?

“He is doing amazing,” Therriault said. “He is a typical three year old. He continues to amaze his doctors and we are just thankful for every day. He’s going to be starting school and that’s a big step. He’s learning to use the potty, you know, typical things three year olds do. That’s all we ever wanted.”

His son’s condition is stabilizing to the point that the family has been able to cut back on the daily treatment while keeping an eye on the big picture.

“Parker has actually come off of his blood thinning medication,” Therriault said. “He continues to see his cardiologist every three months and they are really happy with how he is doing.”

So, the challenge goes out to those who wish to help.

When you enter the Robert H. Frost Complex on Wednesday night before 6 p.m., bring a little extra coin (bills will not be declined either) and do what the season suggests.


You may just see young Parker in the stands or on the field after the game, looking for dad.



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