BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - He died fighting for our freedom, and the family of Staff Sergeant Michael Lammerts is keeping his name alive through a new fundraising event. Saturday, they held a fishing derby to raise money for the troops.
Michael Lammerts joined the armed forces after the 9/11 attacks. When he died in combat last year, he was a young father of two children. He loved football, and especially fishing.
Michael's mother Kendra Speck said, "Michael loved to fish. No matter where in the country, or where in the world he was stationed, he always found time to fish. So what better way to pay respect to Michael and raise money for a military organization than have a fishing derby?"
Sean Kott, Michael's uncle, said, "It's something Mikey enjoyed doing. I enjoyed it with him. I grew up fishing with Michael."
Michael's family is honoring his legacy by starting a fishing derby they hope will become an annual event. The proceeds go to Western New York Heroes, a group that helps all veterans with a variety of needs.
Speck said, "Whether they need help paying an electric bill, or medical bills, or transportation to appointments. Anything that involves the veterans."
Michael's family strongly believes in supporting the troops. They support Western New York Heroes because they say it's an organization that helps all former servicemen and women, no matter which war they found or what kind of help they might need.
Speck said, "This being the first year, we didn't know what to expect. But it came along very well. We got a pretty good turnout. And we're hoping to raise a little money and a little awareness to western New York heroes."
They hope the kids who participated are taking something home with them besides fish.
Kott said, "I want them to appreciate they have people fighting for their freedoms. And because of them, we can do this. That's basically the message we're trying to get across."
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