Custodian Steps Up to Help Get New Britain Student a New Wheelchair

A New Britain High School custodian has stepped up to help a graduating senior who has quietly impacted so many during his high school career.

“Wait ‘til you see his smile and that says it all,” custodian Mark Castagna said of Jonathan Vazquez.

“People love him because of his smiles right?,” said Vazquez's sister, Stephanie Torres. “Even with his condition, you know, he’s always positive.”

Jonathan has been relying on a wheelchair since he was injured in a car crash when he was a little kid.

His current powered chair just isn’t cutting it.

“He’s had several repairs, but of course, you know how that goes, it’s like repairing a car,” Castagna said.

“It’s like falling apart and sometimes it doesn’t drive, you’ve got to push it manually, and it’s pretty heavy, right?,” said Torres.

When Castagna heard the almost-decade old wheelchair was slowing down, he knew he had to step up to help replace what brought them together.

“When I first met Jonathan, I had him start doing doughnuts in his wheelchair, so now every time he sees me he breaks from his nurse and does a doughnut for me. Wherever he is in the building.”

Castagna has organized a couple of ways to collect cash because the chair isn’t cheap.

“I don’t have $20k in my pocket right now. If I did I would, drop it on you, right?,” said Torres to her brother. “It means everything,” she said getting emotional, referring what this gesture means to her family.

The hope is to have Jonathan in a new chair soon for his future after high school.

Castagna and the school is hosting a pasta supper fundraiser at New Britain High School Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids and students and can be bought at the door.

For other ways to donate, you can check out the high school’s Facebook page.

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