Day In the Life: Treks for Troops

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Photo K. Corwin

Victoria Canella (’17) plans to be a trauma surgeon in the military someday.

Kaitlyn Corwin, In Depth Editor

A few weeks ago, Victoria Cannella (’17) scrambled back and forth between waving neon poster boards on the side of the road and monitoring the scrubbing of a shiny red pickup truck. The car wash, which took place at a local 7/11, was able to raise a grand total of over 500 dollars. This money was then funneled into a charity, one that did not exist before the start of the school year. Cannella, with the assistance of her parents and support from contributors like American Legion, began an organization called Treks for Troops. The organization aims to send veterans and active duty military officers on vacation with their families to promote familial bonding.

“I got the idea when we went to France and we went to Normandy beach and saw a memorial for all the American soldiers who lost their lives in World War II,” says Cannella. “They had a white cross for all of the soldiers that had died in that specific battle and some of them didn’t even have names on them.”

In early September, Cannella was interviewed by Channel 10 news in regards to her work. Then, on Sept. 18, she hosted the car wash. She had friends and classmates sign up for time slots on an online database and other peers from her class came to support the cause.

“I think the fact that she’s creating an organization to help people and veterans, something that’s really close to her heart, is great for her,” says Cannella’s friend and car wash participant Morgan Felt (’17). “It inspires me to maybe create a charity that I’m passionate about.”

Moving forward, Cannella hopes to continue success with Treks and expand upon the foundation she’s laid with this car wash. When asked how interested students can get involved, Cannella urges them to donate online and stop by the Great Westchase 5K and 10K races, where the organization will have an informational booth set up.

“I wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to the car wash and showed their support and the online donations on Facebook,” beams Cannella. “It’s nice to see that I was impacting the lives of people.”

To learn more about Treks for Troops, visit the organization’s website or check out their Facebook page.