Belonging to Something Big: Rotolo Cross Country Team

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photos courtesy of parent photographer William Gabriel

In St. Charles, Illinois, a little under an hour from Chicago, the kids are divided among six elementary schools before all coming together at Rotolo Middle School. So, it makes sense that the school’s motto is: Six Become One. It’s a point of community pride and leads to some unexpected results. Like a gigantic cross-country team with well over one-hundred kids.  

Bridgett Schmitt is one of six coaches that guide the massive team of runners through the fall sports season, and this is their second year raising money with Double Good. That first season they held a joint fundraiser with the track team to buy new uniforms. When they were “blown away with what [they] earned,” they decided to set their sights just a little higher.

They wanted to raise money for something that could be used by not just this year’s runners, but for many years after, and settled on something that would help inspire their runners and help keep them motivated. But then they ended up with even more than they expected. Again.

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“We wanted to buy an electronic finish line clock, but we significantly surpassed our fundraising goal, so we decided to add other items…therapy tools, foam rollers, etc. so we can keep the kids healthy and active,” Bridgett said.

It wasn’t hard, either. In their short fundraiser, the team raised over $4,000, and set up was easy. “It was awesome,” Bridgett said. “It only took a couple of minutes at the end of practice to introduce the fundraiser… So it took minimal time out of our practice… The kids could focus on running and being kids. They weren’t stressing about fundraising.”

Coach Bridgett told us about a young runner who wasn’t so sure about joining the team.  But once she joined up, she immediately felt like she belonged. “Those are the things that you want to hear: that the kids find a niche where they fit in, feel successful and positive and valued.”

Helping kids get in the game. That’s what it’s all about.  

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How can Double Good bring your team together?

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