Wrestling champ raised $2,400 for Lions charity

VERGENNES — Vergennes Union High School junior Brandon Cousino recently handed a $2,402 check to the Vergennes Lions Club, some of it his own money, most of it community donations, and all of it based on his state championship wrestling season at 182 pounds this past winter.

Cousino, a 17-year-old Ferrisburgh resident, recruited a half-dozen businesses in the Vergennes area and elsewhere in the county plus several family members to donate to the Lions’ charitable initiatives, with the amounts depending on how well Cousino fared on the mat.

And that turned out to be about as well as possible: He finished 51-5, won a number of tough out-of-state tournaments, breezed to the state championship in his weight class, and earned his 100th victory this winter.

Cousino asked donors to give $6 per victory by pin, $5 per technical fall (a win by 15 points or more), $4 per major decision (a win by 8 to 14 points), and $3 per decision (a win by 1 to 7 points).

Cousino then chipped in $92 of his own cash. He donated $2 per victory, plus when Cousino did suffer a rare setback, he matched the same amounts his donors gave for his wins — for example if he lost by pin, Cousino donated $6.

Cousino said he hoped the money would make a difference for the Vergennes Lions, a group that has taken on projects such as building handicap ramps for those in need, as well as donating eyeglasses to many folks. 

Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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