The Dojo in Stamford held it’s second annual Dojo Dash Sunday at Westhill High School. The 5k walk/run was held to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project; an organization with the mission to aid injured service members.
“They do everything from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, to amputations, to helping people find jobs, and all of that stuff; so again I felt it was a very worthy cause, ” says Manny Esmeraldo, owner of The Dojo.
“I think we take it for granted, what they’re doing protecting our freedom,” says participant Michael Carlon. “Many times they come back and unfortunately, due to the nature of war, they’re hurt and I think it’s up to all of us to help support those who help support us.”
Esmeraldo says almost 150 people participated in Sunday’s event
“We walked in today at roughly around fifty-eight hundred dollars,” says Esmeraldo. “Somebody walked in this morning and through a private foundation actually made a donation of another 5,000 dollars, so we raised 11,000 dollars today which is really really exciting.”
Esmeraldo says last year’s Dojo Dash raised over $5,000 to provide hundreds of water filtration systems to people in Haiti. Organizers say the Dojo takes pride in giving back to the community and will continue to help those in need.
“It’s a really great way for our students to get involved and know that they should be helping out the community,” says Sarah Malhotra, an instructor at The Dojo.
“A word that we use a lot at The Dojo or in the martial arts is samurai, and samurai loosely translated means to serve,” says Esmeraldo.
“It’s not a huge staff at The Dojo, it’s a small tight knit group of people and to be able to pull off an event like this, it’s personal and I’m kind of proud of the group for pulling this thing off,” says instructor Ryan Matherne.