Racing News:

Skate Mom Rolls to Rescue of U.S. World Team

New Jersey Woman Organizes Drive to Help U.S. Skaters Make It to the World Championships

(page 2 of 2)

"My email box didn't fill up," she says. But she did get offers of help from two of the founders of the Grow Inline Speed web site: Jim White and Tony Fugit.

Together, the three started the Send the Best to Worlds project.

Initially, the idea was to just come out with a skater calendar. But the project grew (as did the list of people donating time and materials, including the calendar's graphic design and printing.)

At this point, the merchandise includes a World Team calendar, a World Team poster (donated by USA Roller Sports) and two sets of trading cards.

The calendar features photos of members of the 2005 World Team. It sells for $15.

The trading cards are like baseball cards. There's one for each of the 31 World Team members and also a set of cards featuring 14 candid shots from the recent Outdoor National Championships in Colorado.

So far, the project has raised $3500, Polston says. But it's still in its early stages.

The web site has only recently opened for business. And the trading cards have yet to be delivered to the various teams whose members plan to sell them, in some cases, door-to-door.

Polston is hopeful about the project reaching its goal of raising $15,000 before the World Championships, which start Aug. 27th.

She expects sales of calendars and trading cards to be particularly brisk at the Indoor National Championships, later this month in Florida.

The money raised will be divided evenly between the World skaters.

It's not clear how many there will be. Some -- including Stephanie Sutter and Adam Miller -- have already bowed out, and others may follow.

But the skaters who go are likely to get several hundred dollars a piece from the project.

"No, this will not be enough to get anyone to China, much less get them back," says Jim White. "But it’s a help."

Aside from that, White adds, the project is raising awareness about the sport's funding problems and showing "that ordinary people can help."

Polston is already talking about keeping the project going for next year's World Team.

As for this year, she is pleased with the results.

"It's been terrific," she says. "It’s truly amazing how people came together from all across the country to help these athletes fulfill their dreams."

One of those being helped is the skater, Chad Horne, whose mother posted the forum note that first tugged at Polston's heart-strings.

Chad's mother, Teresa Cannon of Danville, Va., has been doing a lot of fundraising of her own, handing out fliers and soliciting donations from local businesses.

As a result, it's likely that Chad will be going to Worlds after all.



Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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(posted on July 2, 2005)




Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson





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Help the World Team:

• Here's the Send the Best to Worlds web site, where you can buy the World Team calendars, posters and trading cards

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