Naples JROTC instructor, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Paul E.Garrah, received a grant award from Champions for Learning to help update some of the program’s aging color guard equipment.

The Champions for Learning grant will allow Garrah to order updated equipment for the many public events that the Color Guard is a part throughout the year.  

“We do 50 to 70 color guards a year,” Garrah said. “We do an awful lot of events where the cadets present the national colors, and we have equipment that goes along with that so we just needed to update it.”

Garrah’s grant was one of 108 grants that have been funded since July, all of which are made possible through the local Champions for Learning foundation that allows for communities to fund schools in many different ways.

“There are two ways a teacher’s request can be funded,” Director of Educator Program Amy Snyder mentioned. “(1) any community member can go online and choose a request to fund; (2) a community-based committee reviews all requests submitted between July – September to decide which will be funded through the funds donated for this purpose by organizations such as Suncoast Credit Union, the License for Learning program (tax collector), and other community-based foundations.”

The events JROTC color guards do include parades, football games and different community events around town. As Garrah’s cadets work hard and train hard they want to look professional and have tattered uniforms.

“It’s really exciting because a lot of our equipment has been here for many years and it’s good for our competition color guards because they use them the most,” cadet Dimas Herrera said. “For a lot of our events our equipment was broken or ripped so it would look nice when we go out into community to do events for them, and having this equipment is going to look a lot better.”