By Eli Ruiz
LIBERTY August 16, 2005 The 60 students at Joe and Kathy Poppos Moo Duk Kwan Academy recently had the opportunity to compete in the National Soo Bahk Do Championships, in Orlando, Fla. and the 11th Annual Empire State Soo Bahk Do Championships.
To fund last months trip to Orlando, the Poppos and their students had to do some creative fundraising.
Through the selling of candy bars, raffle tickets, a car wash, bake sales and even a golf tournament, they were able to raise enough money not only to pay each childs entry fees, but also had enough left over for one nights hotel stay for each child.
The participants in the National Championship Tournament included Cassie Orlan, who earned a 2nd place award for form, Ethan Berger (2nd place for sparring), Jeff Kirsch (1st sparring, 3rd form), Andrew Witle (2nd form), Collin Witle (1st form), Libby McConell (1st form, 1st sparring), Myra McConell (1st form, 3rd sparring), Harry Santos (1st sparring, 2nd form) and Teik Mullen (2nd sparring).
Participants in the Empire State Tournament included Cassie Orlan (3rd form), Ethan Berger (3rd form), Jenna Atkins (3rd form), Brandan Westphal (3rd sparring), Blanca Carcamo (2nd form), Clarisa Fuentes (1st sparring, 2nd form) Ernesto Fuentes (2nd sparring, 2nd form), Jeff Kirsch (1st sparring, 3rd form), Andrew Witle (1st sparring) Collin Witle (2nd sparring, 2nd form), Ryan Sachs (1st sparring, 1st form), Michael Freeman (1st sparring, 1st form).
The trainers for both events were Harshika Patel, Shyam Patel, Shivanyi Patel and Kevin Riba.
Fundraising efforts for next Augusts nationals in San Diego are already underway.
Anyone interested in helping the kids get to San Diego next year can reach Kathy Poppo at the Moo Duk Kwan Academy, which is located on North Main Street in Liberty. The phone number is 292-1800.