Charity Soccer Game Held for Students

Money raised to benefit two EHS brothers recovering from car accident

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Ashlen Livingston, Staff Reporter

Eaton High School students Justin Elizalde(22) and Jason Elizalde (24) were involved in a life threatening accident recently. Both Justin and Jason fell off the bed of a moving truck, leaving them with severe injuries on Thursday, September 30. 

After being rushed to Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, doctors discovered Justin suffered from a broken skull along with brain bleed, and Jason suffered from a fractured skull with a brain bleed. After their initial consultation, the boys were air-lifted to Children’s Hospital Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. 

Each day, the Elizalde brothers fought for their lives, and after a few long weeks of recovery, both Justin and Jason began physical therapy. Critical accidents such as this one tend to result in high hospital bills, but with the help of staff and students at Eaton High School, two fundraisers were set up to assist the Elizalde family through this tragedy. 

A former teacher from EMS, Kara Englert, created a GoFundMe account, which has raised a generous amount of money. Englert, with the help of EHS social studies teacher Andrew Jorgensen, Maria Ruuemau (22), and Adilene Rivera (22) organized a charity soccer game to raise more funds for the family. 

Students and community members were able to come together on Thursday, October 21 to participate in the Justin and Jason Soccer Game held at the Eaton Rec Center. With a handful of volunteer soccer players and supporters on the sidelines, the fundraiser soccer game began. Although Jorgensen was unable to stay for the entire event he said, “If somebody needs help, we like to claim that we’re a family, so if someone in your family needs help, go help them…I like that it was student-led, student-driven, it wasn’t like me forcing you guys to do this. I’ll just help facilitate it, that was all my role was.”

Spanish teacher, Aleena Griffin, was also a huge supporter of the fundraiser. She said, “I love Justin and Jason both, I think they’re both awesome students, awesome boys, and awesome kids. I adore both of them, they’re super fun and sweet; I can’t wait for them to come back to school. I have a lot of students that are close with them, and I wanted to be there to support them as well.” 

After the soccer game, Griffin said, “I mean it was awesome, the kids had a lot of fun playing and there was music playing, and people were having fun on the sidelines. From what I heard, it sounds like they got a really good donation, I thought it was great. I wish more students would have come and represented.” Scarlett Wray (22) also played a big role in the event. Wray coaches children’s soccer at the Rec Center and offered her service to help ref the game. 

Wray said, “There wasn’t a part when people stopped participating or stopped having fun.” Community coming together to help others in need is always an inspiring thing to see, and this charity soccer game really illustrated that. Those who participated in the game were separated into two teams, blue and yellow. The volunteers played about three games up until the end when supporters from the side lines suggested an all girls game. At this time English teacher, Texie Jonsson, decided to join in on the fun. 

Jonsson said, “I love to see the kids interacting. I love to see that they were laughing and they weren’t on their phones; they were just having a good time. It was nice to see kids being kids.” Jonsson had both Justin and Jason in her class, which is what drove her to participate in the soccer game. 

Those who attended the soccer game were greeted with pizza, courtesy of Englert, and some cheerleading thanks to Angela Garcia and Carmelita Estrada (22). As the soccer game came to an end, the fundraiser slowly fizzled out, but some volunteers and friends of the Elizalde brothers stuck around to wait for their arrival. 

Supporters and friends were eager to see Justin and Jason, one of which is Dominic Lopez Varela (23). Lopez said, “It was pretty fun for the most part, I’m glad we raised money for Justin and Jason and I’m glad they came at the end. It was so nice seeing them. And my favorite part about the event was seeing them, even though they weren’t there for a long time, it was better late than never.” 

The charity soccer game was an overall success. Money was raised for the Elizalde family; Justin and Jason got to see their friends after a long time of waiting; and supporters had fun at the game. As for the Elizalde brothers, both have made a speedy recovery, but both Justin and Jason are continuing physical therapy, and Justin remains in a neck brace. EHS staff and students are excited to have the Elizalde brothers back in school.