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The Russ family accepts a $6,000 check from WMS 8th Grader Kirk Lindstrom (top right), who spearheaded a fundraiser to support his friend, WMS 8th Grader KJ Russ (bottom right).

T-Shirt Fundraiser Pays Off!

Lindstrom & WMS Student Body Present $6,000 Check to Russ Family

Need advice on how to help a friend in need? Look no further than Wahoo Middle School.

As previously posted on this web site, a November 5, 2009 Fremont Tribune article highlighted the efforts of WMS 8th grader Kirk Lindstrom, who designed and organized a t-shirt fundraiser to assist friend and fellow WMS 8th grader KJ Russ, who went through three major spinal surgeries in Omaha this past fall, as a result of spina bifida.

Well, Lindstrom’s efforts really paid off! Shortly before leaving for Christmas Break, Lindstrom, along with the entire WMS student body and staff, surprised KJ and his mother, WMS Language Arts Teacher Lisa Russ, with a check for $6,000. This amount significantly surpassed Lindstrom’s original goal of raising $5,000.

“Kirk came up with idea of making a t-shirt design on a Sunday morning. He took his sketch to Eric Gottschalk, who had also been thinking about a t-shirt fundraiser to show support for the Russ family,” said Wahoo Elementary 2nd Grade Teacher Bev Lindstrom, Kirk’s mother. “Eric refined the design and was a huge help in making this a successful experience.”

Lindstrom approached area businesses and organizations to sponsor his effort, and was very pleased by their support.

“They were so supportive. Many organizations/business owners called Kirk before he had a chance to call them. It was obvious that people in our community wanted to help the Russ family in some way,” Bev Lindstrom commented.

Please click HERE to view a list of business and organizations that sponsored this fundraiser.

In the end, approximately 400 t-shirts were sold. A special red version of the t-shirt was also made especially for KJ’s Red Dawg’s wheelchair basketball team.

"Kirk showed great care and friendship for KJ and his family through this project. It is not often that you find a young person that is so willing to demonstrate such leadership and initiative to help another," stated Wahoo Middle School Principal Jason Libal. "Kirk epitomizes the service before self mentality. These attributes will carry him well throughout his future. As Kirk's principal, I am so very proud of him and what he was able to accomplish."

T-Shirt Fundraiser Pays Off!

Coach Shannonsshannon@esu2.orgWahooWMS Boys Basketball Coach

Jan 06, 2010

I wanted to say that I am tremendously proud of both Kirk Lindstrom and KJ Russ for the compassion and courage that they have shown throughout. I am extremely proud to have had the privilege to coach Kirk in MS basketball where his unselfishness was present on a daily basis. I also had the privilege to have KJ as one of the best student managers a coach could ever ask for. Here's to a speedy recovery and getting you back on the basketball court, as a player, where you belong KJ! Best wishes always!