High school team honors memory of young fan by raising $100,000 for children’s hospital

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CHICAGO -- It was a lofty goal: honor the memory of a fan who died too young by raising $100,000 in eight years. But members of a suburban football team  passed the responsibility on from one year to the next, and crossed the goal line Monday afternoon.

The fundraising started eight years ago after 9-year-old Alyssa Potratz died suddenly. Alyssa and her twin brother Jeremy were huge fans of the Prospect High School team, so the high school decided to create a legacy for Alyssa and show support for the family by starting the fundraising campaign. So each year since 2008, the team, the Potratz family, and the community came together to raise money for money for Shriner's.

Members of the team, the Portratz family, and their supporters presented Shriner's Hospital for Children with a check for $15,000 Monday, bringing the team's total donation to $106,000. For Jeremy Potratz, knowing that they met the goal of raising the $100,000 before he graduates in May, all in honor of the sister he loved and lost too soon, is just amazing.

"She would be very proud," he said.

Coach Mike Sebestyen said it's truly been a team effort and an amazing character builder.

"They play football for four years. They play life for the next 60 or 70. So we’re preparing them for something a lot larger than just wins and losses," Sebestyen said.