Four local business: McDonald’s; Dairy Queen; Security State Insurance; and Ryan, Brucker and Kalis, Ltd, recently partnered to purchase game gear for the Gobbler boys’ basketball team. According to boys’ basketball coach Kerry Hopperstad, the idea was initiated about a year ago at the Virginia tournament when parents commented about the difficulty getting players to dress up for games. “Getting teenage boys to wear shirts and ties is not an easy accomplishment. Game gear makes the decision about what to wear simple,” remarked one parent.

“We like to support Aitkin sports,” said Bob Cummings from Security State Insurance. “Game gear made sense. Athletic programs need community support and funds are not available through the school to do something like this. The kids look sharp in the game gear.”

Kris Deadrick at Aitkin Dairy Queen was all in when it came to the fundraiser. “Local businesses need to be involved in supporting community activities,” said Deadrick. “We plan to do one fundraiser each year for a community project. For the game gear we did a ‘round up’ to the next dollar and the support was tremendous.”

Henry Brucker at Ryan, Brucker and Kalis, LTD said, “When coach Kerry Hopperstad contacted me about the game gear idea, I liked the idea for the players to be able to dress alike for games. We are happy to support Aitkin basketball and give back to the community.”

The basketball players love their game gear; it’s not theirs to keep but they still love it. Comments from players include:

Jon Blanchette: “It makes us look like a team.”

Logan Gabrio: “I don’t have to buy dress clothes.”

Manni Ukutegbe: “It’s nice to be able to wear the same clothes for every game, and it’s comfortable.”

Owen Hagen: “It makes us look uniform and professional.”

Hunter Nissen: “I like not having to dress up.”

Kade Hopperstad: “I don’t have to worry about what to wear, and I don’t have to dress up.”

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