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Since 2020, Raiderfest has honored a "Kind Human of the Year."

Colonie Central High School and its student run iCare group are continuing the vision of John Lawlor (Class of 2016) to add and expand its Hill of Heroes. His desire to develop a fitting tribute to military and first responders sparked and led to the construction of the Hill of Heroes in the spring of 2016. Recent additions include a retaining wall and seating area as well as a commemorative stone donated by the class of 1965 to honor its fallen classmates.


Now, the opportunity exists for members of the community to honor their loved ones by purchasing a commemorative stone paver to add to the existing memorial. These stones will be used to create a pathway, flanking both sides, leading visitors up to the memorial itself. 


The stones, which can be purchased in three different sizes, can help you memorialize and celebrate loved ones, heroes within the community, and those who left an indelible mark on the community at large. For an additional cost, patrons can select images to be engraved on the stones for a more personal touch. All proceeds and profits help to support iCare and its yearly, charitable endeavors.  


At Raiderfest 2019, we honored the life and impact of coach Mike Ambrosio on our Colonie Community this year. "Everyday Heroes" exist in our community and we will begin the process of creating our pathway to heroes with the brick fundraiser started last year. You can read more about Coach Ambrosio in this Spectrum News Article:

HILL of HEROES: Some History

Blue Star Mothers, Soldier On Last year, Raiderfest focused on giving back to our veterans, specifically through supportingand the VA Hospital. In conjunction with this, Colonie High Senior, John Lawlor, worked with Mr. Kachadurian and the iCARE Team to forge a symbolic tribute to those who serve in our military. This tribute was named the "Hill of Heroes." 

Lawlor’s inspiration comes from his father who has served in the military since he graduated from Colonie high school. John was raised to respect those who serve and thought it would be a great idea to honor them through a beautiful, thoughtfully designed, tastefully patriotic tribute.

The Hill of Heroes showcases emblems and creeds on granite slabs representing all five branches of the military, all designed and created in the Colonie High campus, special courtesy of Mr. Tom Casey.  Additionally, the tribute honors 9/11 first responders.


Mario Gabriel, a 9-foot tall steel flag has been designed, welded and painted by Nick, Colonie parentNick MorrisonAs a finishing touch by Colonie High junior, and Mr. Chris Hanley.  The flag sits atop the tribute and is a permanent, symbolic gesture of CCHS’s respect and acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by the men and women of our Armed Forces. 

Before he graduated this past June, Colonie Central High School senior John Lawlor wanted to leave a lasting memory in honor of people like his father who serve in the military.

Lawlor approached Thomas Kachadurian, an associate principal, about his idea to remake the hill opposite the main entrance to add a place to pay tribute to the troops.

Kachadurian agreed. Read the entire Times Union Article, here:

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