Local Marines Raise Money For Second Harvest In Memory Of Leader’s Son
NEW ORLEANS – Master Sgt. Joel Cortes, band master for the Marine Corps Band New Orleans, is leading a team of local marines participating in Ironman 70.3 endurance challenges to honor his son Jovany, a Belle Chasse High School wrestler who died in February.
On Sunday, Oct. 22, Cortes will complete his half-Ironman in Miami, and his colleagues, Victor Danish and Christopher Calamari, will participate in the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 in New Orleans. In conjunction with this endurance challenge, they are raising money in honor of Jovany for Second Harvest Food Bank, with a combined goal of $5,000.
“One day last fall, during a drive in downtown New Orleans, Jovany expressed his desire to bring food to the hungry people we saw,” Cortes said. “Unfortunately, he was never able to put his wish to feed the hungry to work, as he suffered a staph infection that took his life in February 2017. I want to make my son’s passion for helping those in need a reality. Now more than ever—with Second Harvest’s ongoing relief efforts following the hurricanes in Florida, Texas and Louisiana—this is the perfect opportunity to honor Jovany’s desire to feed the hungry.”
“Second Harvest is honored and humbled to be the recipient of Master Sgt. Cortes’ and his colleagues’ efforts,” says president Natalie Jayroe. “This is a true example of turning a personal tragedy into something positive that benefits others. Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Cortes family, the Belle Chasse High School students and staff, his friends, and his wrestling teammates for their tremendous loss, and we hope to help honor Jovany’s memory by using this generous donation to feed more hungry people in our area.”
“Jovany was a very special young man,” Cortes says. “He loved God, family, his friends and his teammates on the Belle Chasse High School wrestling team. He made an impact on everyone he knew, and he is sorely missed by all.”