Bears honor suburban high school athletes for sports equipment donations

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

High school juniors, who go to Jacobs and Dundee Crown in District 300, play football, baseball and wrestling. They wanted to create a non-profit association to collect sports equipment in order to donate it to children in need.

“There are people who aren’t as lucky as me, that’s why I want to help others,” said Dundee Crown athlete Porter Leith.

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

“Finding out that your kids are doing something behind the scenes is just awesome, it’s really rewarding,” said Jacobs High School principal Barb Valle. “You see the leadership potential in kids that the public often 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 award.

“It put us in the spotlight and in the eyes of young athletes who need something,” Jacobs football player Will Seibert said. “In the eyes of the donors, this is going to be very valuable for us. I’m excited for what it brings.

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

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