Car wash

Orito's Taekwondo students are raising money for a group trip to Las Vegas for a national fighting competition, washing vehicles throughout the day June 2 in front of the White Fields Church just off the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.

WASILLA — Orito’s Taekwondo students are raising money for a group trip to Las Vegas for a national fighting competition, washing vehicles throughout the day June 2 in front of the White Fields Church just off the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.

Gerri Bowman is one of several mothers who helped their kids and teammates wash cars and collect donations from the community. She said the kids raised around $450 after it was all said and done.

“These kids have been working their butts off,” Bowman said.

Orito’s Taekwondo’s Progression Team is the specific group of students going down to Nevada for the U.S. Grand Prix Series June 10th through the 13th. Bowman noted that their group is the only one visiting from Alaska, adding to the excitement.

“They’re so excited,” Bowman said.

Colony High School junior and active Orito’s student, Mattison Sperry was onsite helping collect donations. She said the program means a lot to her and helped her grow as a person, motivating her to help out wherever she can despite the fact she’s not even going on this particular trip.

“Even though it’s an individualized sport, we are really big on teamwork,” Sperry said. “I’ve gained a lot of confidence.”

Bowman said that she appreciates Orito’s Taekwondo owner, Dancel Orito and the character building program he established. On top of the physical achievements of the sport, she said it’s helped her kids find a sense of community and as of late, a sense of normalcy.

“They can defend themselves, that’s for sure,” Bowman said. “It’s just great. Everybody’s like a family. It’s a great place. I think it teaches them how to be better people.”

Fourteen-year-old student Shantal Tubo said that she’s made a lot of friends through taekwondo. She said she’s tried other sports and this is her favorite one. She said that she likes everything about it and wants to keep going with it.

“It’s pretty fun. It can get a little extreme but it’s part of the improvement,” Tubo said.

For more information about Orito’s Taekwondo, call 907-232-9304 or visit their official Facebook page at facebook.com/Oritostaekwondo.

For more information about the competition, visit teamusa.org/USA-Taekwondo.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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