The Lowell High School girls varsity lacrosse team still needs to come up with approximately $4,000 to cover all its expenses for the 2021 season. To raise that money, the girls have undertaken an innovative fundraiser in which they will spend one hour volunteering for Flat River Outreach Ministries for every $25 they receive in donations.
It’s a win-win for both the team and FROM, says Jennifer Dougherty, who is helping to organize the fundraiser. “We thought that providing labor to FROM would be a great way to provide a community service while getting the funds that are needed to run the lacrosse program,” she explains.
Donations are being accepted through the end of the year, and girls will continue their volunteer hours into the New Year until they have completed their work obligation.
Donor Offers to Match Gifts
FROM gets more than volunteer hours out of this fundraiser, though. A generous donor has agreed to match the money raised by the team with a financial gift to FROM. Should the lacrosse team reach their $4,000 goal, the matching gift means FROM will also receive a $4,000 donation. What’s more, the non-profit will receive 160 hours of volunteer work from members of the team.
In early December, team captain Olivia Rose delivered the first $525 matching donation. It came just in time for FROM to purchase items for its annual Christmas Toy Store, which is where the non-profit’s clients can get gifts for their children.
“It provides a great opportunity for the team to learn about the programs that FROM offers and can hopefully alleviate some of the volunteer shortages that FROM is experiencing due to COVID,” Dougherty says.
The team will be hosting a clothing drive over Christmas break to stock a new section of the FROM store that will be geared toward teens and young adults. Dougherty expects girls will also be assisting the non-profit with their annual inventory review that happens at the start of each year.
Lacrosse in Lowell
Lacrosse is a unique sport in that girls don’t have to start at a young age to excel, according to Dougherty. “A girl can start playing in high school with no previous experience and can pick up the sport quickly and with great success,” she says.
Each team fields 12 players at a time to cover four positions, providing opportunities for many girls of various skill levels to play in each game. The Lowell program saw their hard work pay off as they won the conference championship in 2019. While the 2020 program was disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is looking forward to playing again in spring 2021.
Since the girls lacrosse program is not fully funded by the school district, it’s up to players and their families to cover expenses such as coaching, busing, equipment and officiating for games. Those who want to support the program can make a donation via the team’s GoFundMe page or send a check made out LHS Girls Lacrosse to the following address:
Lowell High School
Attn. Girls Lacrosse
11700 Vergennes St. SE
Lowell, MI 49331
Donations received by the end of the year will be matched and used to determine the team’s volunteer commitment to FROM.
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Dougherty.