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Metamora High School remembers Vidal Paulino with fundraiser

Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 8:48 PM CST
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METAMORA (WEEK) - Two years after his passing, students and families of Metamora High School remembered Vidal Paulino.

“He meant a lot. I’m not just speaking for myself when I say this, I’m speaking for everyone in the community, everyone of his friends,” friend of Vidal, Katie Lalumander said. “He was friends with everyone.”

Vidal lost his battle with congenital heart failure at the age of 16.

“It’s great to see how many people care,” Lalumander continued, “How many people care about him, how many people care about what he went through and are able to donate. It’s truly amazing.”

Fundraisers were held during two Metamora basketball games and all the proceeds go to Children’s Hospital of Illinois Congenital Heart Center in the memory of Paulino.

The fundraisers had raffles and auctions featuring Redbird gear.

“I would just say that the spirit of V has been so present in these hallways and with his class especially,” Director of Student Services Jennifer Jewell said. “His classmates get really excited to know that we have events that continue to honor him.”

Paulino’s brother, Ishmael, was in the stands Saturday. He said even after two years, he feels embraced and loved by the community.

“To have a community and a high school, my alma mater Metamora high school, through the girls basketball program and the boys basketball program honor my brother who’s been such an inspiration to many throughout this night is truly a blessing,” Ishmael said.

Vidal was a fan of basketball, and managed the Metamora High School girls basketball team. Ishmael said a basketball game was a great way to pay homage to his brother.

“He loved Metamora, he loved Metamora basketball,” Ishmael said.

The events raised around $2,000.

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