Bears honor suburban high school athletes for sports equipment donations

Bears honor suburban high school athletes for sports equipment donations

WEST DUNDEE, Ill. — Inside his parents suburban garage, Dylan Christipherson and his three buddies have big plans following an idea that started due to the pandemic.

The high school juniors, who go to Jacobs and Dundee Crown in District 300, play football, baseball and wrestling. They wanted to start a non-profit to collect sports equipment with the purpose of donating it to children in need.

“There are people out there who aren’t as fortunate as me that’s the reason I want to help others,” Dundee Crown athlete Porter Leith said.

The teens start their 501C3 organization called Athletes 4 Athletes and even created a board. Once they started accepting donations about a month ago, they were able to see their hard work pay off.

“Finding out your kids are doing something behind the scenes, that is this awesome is really rewarding,” Jacobs High School principal Barb Valle said. “You see the leadership potential in kids that a lot of times the public doesn’t see.”

Their work was recently recognized by the Chicago Bears, awarding the Jacobs High School football players involved the Community High School All-Stars honor.

“It put us out there and in the eyes of youth athletes that need something,” Jacobs football player Will Seibert said. “In the eyes of donors, that’s going to be very valuable for us. I’m excited for what that brings.”

The athletes are now trying to recruit younger classmates who can carry on the work once they leave for college next year.