SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 29, 2013

Marblehead boy raising money for marathon victims

MARBLEHEAD — Cole Garaventi watched the first finishers of the Boston Marathon on television, then started playing Xbox.

It wasn’t until his dad, Jim, came home that he knew what had happened at the finish line.

“I was scared,” said Cole, 13, a seventh-grader at Marblehead Veterans Middle School. “I was scared and angry that something like that could happen so close.”

Cole had an idea. Some of his friends at school had used rubber wristband bracelets to raise money and awareness for other causes. So he hopped onto the computer, did a Google search and found a company to make bracelets.

“Some of my friends were doing wristbands for other stuff,” said Cole, whose mom, Bonnie, says Cole is part of a group of friends who frequently raise money for schools and other worthy causes.

Cole thought of a message to put on the bracelets, as well: “Pray for Boston.” The colors, turquoise blue and yellow, match the colors of both the marathon and the Boston flag.

On the other side of the bracelet, he simply entered the date of the marathon, 4/15/2013.

“He has this tremendous respect for anyone who serves, military, police, firefighters,” his mother said. “I think it has to do with the code of honor and the commitment these people make.”

She wasn’t entirely surprised when Cole showed her and her husband the information.

“I have this idea,” he said. He would give out the bracelets in exchange for $2 donations.

So they made a deal. Mom and dad agreed to front him the cost of producing the first batch of 350 bracelets.

They were gone within a day.

“He came home and said, ‘We need more,’” Bonnie said.

The idea took off. A local jeweler, Sandy Burke, saw the bracelets on Bonnie’s Facebook page and took 50, which sold out in a flash.

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