With help from several friends, family and small businesses, Luke Raven, 13, of Knox, a junior green belt at Huard’s Martial Arts, has collected more than $1,700 to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, Northern Lights Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, according to a news release from his mother Jennifer Bilodeau.

Every March, Huard’s Martial Arts in Winslow sponsors this charity fundraiser event and students voluntarily participate, asking community members for contributions. This is Luke’s third year at Huard’s and each year he has participated in this fundraisere.

Luke attends Mount View Middle School in Thorndike. When asked why he participates in this fundraiser, he said “because every child should have something to hope for, the hospital is no place for a child my age to be. I may not be able to help them all but I can make a difference!,” according to the release.

Businesses that contributed to Luke’s collection included The Red Barn in Augusta, Unitel in Unity, Central Maine Motors in Waterville, Davis Dirt Works in Thorndike, Bilodeau & Girls Trucking in Knox, Thorndike Auto, Hilltop Store located in Knox, and all other friends and family sponsors. A large group of local truck drivers and trucking companies also offered support.

Luke’s goal this year was to raise $300 for The Children’s Miracle Network EMMC, and with lots of commitment, he has involved his community to raise more than five times his goal. One of the ways he helped generate donations was to make some sweet snacks to “silent auction” off on social media along with a homemade mason jar centerpiece, earning $115 towards his total collections. Luke also sent several emails and made phone calls to get the information around and visited businesses, according to the release.

During the annual Battle of Maine Martial Arts Championship Tournament, planned for Saturday, March 23, at Thomas College in Waterville, students will be recognized in front of families, friends and spectators for their efforts for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Luke is the son and stepson of Jennifer and Rick Bilodeau, of Knox.

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