Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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Community 'Finds Its Strong' in Boot Camp Honoring Fairport Teen

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Rochester: Community 'Finds Its Strong' in Boot Camp Honoring Fairport Teen
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Community support continues following the loss of Fairport teen Blake Cognata this weekend. A scheduled fundraiser was held at FIT Gym in East Rochester Sunday.

"You come in here, you find what you've got," said volunteer Nikki Bittner.

'Find Your Strong.' It's a motto friends say Blake Cognata, 17, lived by.

"Blake's always relied on that motto because every time things get hard, he just thinks to himself that he's gotta find that strong and get that inner push in him to help him push through stuff," said Blaze Riordan.

Riordan used his friend and former Fairport High School teammate as an example to push himself.

"He's given a lot for this community. He's fought for us. We figured that we might as well fight back and support him through everything," said Riordan.

Dozens came out to the FIT Gym Sunday to help raise money for Blake and the Cognata family.

"We decided to do it because everybody here at FIT Training knew someone that knew Blake," said gym co-owner Julie Earl.

On Saturday, the the teen lost a nearly year-long battle with the rare form of cancer known as Ewing's sarcoma.

"I think he showed courage. I think he showed that even in his battle of cancer he had a smile on his face," said Earl.

The loss made pressing through this boot camp workout that much harder.

"As sad as yesterday's events were, we're glad that we can still be here for the Fairport community to come and be together," said Bittner.

Together, students, family friends, and Fairport residents are mourning the loss of someone described as a loving person.

"He loved the Vikings. He loved his girlfriend and he loved his friends," said Riordan.

Together this community is also "Finding Its Strong."

"It's hard but it's more overwhelming for the family and I wish them the best of luck," said Riordan.

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