Fundraiser to support to Marine amputee
SUN CITY CENTER - With serving one’s country comes personal sacrifice. Marine Sgt. Michael Nicholson has sacrificed much, and a fundraiser is scheduled to build a home to help him. Nicholson, 23, is a Tampa native who was severely injured by an improvised-explosive device while on foot patrol in Kajaki, Afghanistan, in July 2011. He lost both legs and half of his left arm in the blast. He was deployed there in April 2011 with Echo Battery in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While in Kajaki, he served as 2nd Platoon mortar chief and 2nd Platoon 1st Squad assistant patrol leader. Nicholson was sent to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center to recover from his wounds on July 11, 2011. He is the recipient of a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and various service awards.The sergeant is a 2007 graduate of H.B. Plant High School, where he played varsity soccer and golf. He briefly attended Hillsborough Community College before enlisting in the Marine Corps in March 2008. A fundraiser will be held in his honor at 2:30 p.m. May 5 at Community Hall, 1910 S. Pebble Beach Blvd. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the day of the event or beforehand at the Atrium ticket kiosk Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. They also can be purchased at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce, 1651 Sun City Center Plaza, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will be used to help the Tunnels to Towers Foundation build a Smart Home next year designed to meet Nicholson's needs. The estimated cost is $500,000. Currently living in Tampa with his family, Nicholson looks forward to attending the event. Performers will include soloist and emcee Bill Barker, comic John Cortese and vocalist Joanne Podgurski. Two dance groups, The Time Steppers and The Sunsations, also will perform. The East Bay High School ROTC Color Guard will present the colors. Sponsors include American Legion Post 146, Sun City Center Leathernecks, Military Officers of America, Military Order of the World Wars and the Patriots Club of Sun City Center. For further information, contact Jim Glass at (813) 633-4298.
Lorianne De Loreto is a freelance writer who can be reached at [email protected]