If you have ever wondered what inspires a child to go the extra mile, ask Luke Stringer. When the 11-year-old resident of Nantucket met Aaron Hale, his life changed. Hale, a disabled veteran and Purple Heart recipient who suffered unspeakable injuries in the Afghan war, is deaf and blind. Because of his extraordinary service to our country, Hale became part of the family at Holiday For Heroes, an organization founded by Tom McCann who honors families of war by embracing them with a retreat on Nantucket. Hale told Luke that he needed a special service dog to help him with his complicated physical needs. Luke, with the help of his close friends, hosted a dog walk in the local park to help raise funds for the service dog. It seemed like a great idea, until Luke was overcome by the daunting task of raising $30,000. With the help of generous donations from individuals and corporate sponsors, Luke eventually reached his goal.
On Sept. 10, Holiday For Heroes hosted their annual fundraiser tribute and gala at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club. Luke thanked everyone who had donated, letting them know that they had raised a total of $26,250. By the end of that evening, Luke had received the last generous boost he needed to hit the $30,000 mark. With Luke’s dedication and perseverance, a hero will now be able to get a service dog. Luke is a testament to never being too young to make a difference. —Kim Roderiques