Although she was surprised that a Gofundme.com campaign for donations to buy new uniforms for the seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams reached its goal so quickly – in less than two weeks – Monica Fortuna had no doubt that it would reach its goal.
“I knew the community would rally around these boys,” she said.
Fortuna is mother to Matteo Fortuna, a member of the Carl Hoffman League sixth-grade basketball team.
When the players move up to seventh grade next year, they will inherit “15-year-old castoffs from the varsity and junior varsity,” according to the Gofundme.com page.
Those uniforms are not indicative of the hard work the boys put into the game, nor their desire to look good doing it, she said.
Raising money through Gofundme.com and spreading the word via social media gave organizers a chance to reach people who have local ties but no longer live here, Fortuna said. The strategy worked. The team set a goal of $5,300 and has raised more than $6,300, she said.
The extra money will go toward uniforms for other school basketball teams.
“They’re paying it forward,” said school board member Ronda Bonekovic. “There’s still money coming in. Who knows, there may be uniforms for seven through 12 by the time they’re done with this, which is something nice. It’s not coming out of our general fund, which we can’t afford to buy uniforms all the time.”
“I’m happy the community came out to support the kids,” Fortuna said.