Lia Group Surprise Squad Honors Mrs. Desforges
Posted On:
Monday, April 24, 2017
Brittany Murphy, Arlene Desforges, Lindsay Iadeluca
Brittany Murphy, Arlene Desforges, Lindsay Iadeluca

With the 7th annual Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges Walk/Run Challenge scheduled for this Saturday, April 29th, the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad (Western Mass News) made a visit to Baird Middle School today and presented his mother, Mrs. Arlene Desforges, a check in the amount of $1,000 for the event that honors her son.  Lindsay Iadeluca and Brittany Murphy from the Surprise Squad were on hand to deliver the check to Desforges, as was Director Eric Segundo, Veterans Services for the Town of Ludlow, and member of the Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges VFW Post 3236, Ludlow, who nominated Mrs. Desforges for this award.

When explaining why he submitted the nomination Segundo commented, “Arlene is well deserving of this honor.  Her selfless service at putting everyone else above herself is endless. She works tirelessly to keep Josh’s spirit alive by raising funds to offer multiple scholarships to deserving Ludlow High school graduates.”

“Overwhelmed and truly shocked,” said Desforges when learning of the unexpected donation to the challenge that honors her son. “This community’s effort has been a true blessing for our family- a way to keep Josh’s spirit- living life full throttle- alive, and to help Ludlow High School students achieve their goals when they graduate.”

Sgt. Desforges was raised and educated in Ludlow, graduating from Ludlow High School in 2004. He was killed at the age of 23, on May 10, 2010, supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while living his dream of being a proud member of the United States Marine Corps.

Since 2011 the Sgt.  Joshua D. Desforges Walk/Run Challenge has been a yearly spring event as a way to keep Josh’s memory alive and raise money for the Sgt. Desforges Scholarship/Award Fund that honors Josh’s sense of determination and persistence. Mrs. Desforges credits Mr. Thomas Cote, retired attendance officer at Ludlow High School, retired state police officer, Vietnam War Marine veteran, and a mentor to a young Desforges, for organizing and spearheading the first challenge in 2011, that has evolved into an annual event.

Mrs. Desforges shared that since 2011 the money raised has not only allowed her family to award $70,000 in scholarships to LHS graduates, but has also funded the creation of a memorial behind Ludlow High School that honors the legacy of her son.

“We feel truly blessed to live in a community that is so supportive,” commented Mrs. Desforges, as she quietly wiped away tears. “Today’s surprise is just another example of that support.”

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