Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Unique Fundraiser Supports Middle School Swim Team, Builds School Spirit

Nathan Burns
Middle school swim coach Aaron Portenga sits at his desk wearing a shirt embroidered with the words “Grand Haven Swimming” as he types on his computer. He oversees the middle school swim team sock sale fundraiser and helps bring more school spirit to the high school.

The middle school swim team is attempting a unique fundraising event this year. Along with asking for donations, the team is selling socks to cover the team’s expenses. So far, the unconventional fundraising technique seems to be making quite a splash. 

Middle school swim coach Aaron Portenga often receives fundraising opportunities from companies but rarely follows through with them. When he received an invitation to sell socks, he had reservations about students’ interest in purchasing them, so he consulted the team.

“I normally don’t do fundraisers because they’re a pain, but I saw this one and thought this looks cool,” Portenga said. “So I asked a few of the girls on the swim team what they thought about selling socks and they liked the idea, so I’m giving it a try this year.”

Portenga partnered with Hype Socks, an American-based custom athletic sock brand that has partnered with colleges nationwide, to design and sell the socks. After reviewing the mock-ups the Hype Socks team created, Portenga settled on two designs: a white pair and a blue pair, both featuring the school’s blue and gold spirit colors. 

After getting the fundraiser set up and the website running, Portenga sent the link to the teachers in the high school building to promote and share the fundraiser. Since the sock’s design focuses on Grand Haven Public Schools rather than the swim team specifically, Portenga hopes all students can enjoy these socks as a unique piece of school spirit merchandise.

“I thought they actually would be pretty cool as student section stuff,” Portenga said. “So as soon as they sent me the store link I sent it out to the staff asking if there’s anyone else interested. Normally I would only sell them to the team, but since other people are interested I sent it out to all the teachers.”

According to Portenga, the funds raised go towards bringing in assistant coaches and occasionally purchasing equipment needed to help the swim team of around fifty middle schoolers. The middle school swim team often brings in high school swim team members to be assistant coaches and help build a sense of unity among the team.

The middle school swim team’s fundraiser isn’t only about selling socks; it is about bringing more school spirit and pride to Grand Haven. Wearing a pair of these socks, both shows the student’s school spirit and embodies the community they support. 

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About the Contributor
Nathan Burns
Nathan Burns, Reporter
Junior Nathan Burns enthusiastically joins The Bucs' Blade hoping to become a better writer. With a passion for math and computer science, he aims to bring a unique perspective and make multimedia and entertainment content.

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