Now You Can Adopt A Bolt Too

LR marketing student starts nonprofit merchandise store

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Israel Carunungan
Senior Baylee Slepko and her family at her girls soccer senior night. Photo courtesy of Israel Caranungan.

Senior marketing student Baylee Slepko introduced her nonprofit merchandise store to Long Reach this fall. The project, called Adopt-a-Bolts, sells Long Reach athletic spirit wear in the forms of sweatshirts, long-sleeve shirts, and short-sleeve shirts.

“[The designs] are inspired from my old school because they used to run it,” noted Slepko. “I springboarded off the idea and figured out how we could actually turn this into something we can do at Long Reach.”

Using a web creator, Slepko designed spirit wear that resembles those sold on the official spirit website, but for a significantly cheaper price. She presented the program to every fall sport coach so they could relay the message to players. However, Slepko personally collected order slips from every athlete rather than using an online shop. This allowed for athletes, their family, and friends to buy from the shop, similar to Girl Scouts cookie orders or Jump Rope for Heart fundraising.

“Baylee has taken the Business class, Marketing class, and Accounting class here at Long Reach. She took what she learned over the last two years and applied it to this project,” commented Ms. Kimberly Baum, Long Reach’s marketing teacher. “She is 100% in charge of Adopt-A-Bolt. It is wonderful to see the young entrepreneurs in our school learning, but most importantly applying, that knowledge.”

Slepko plans to pursue marketing in the future. She has an interest in logistics and turned that into something that could benefit the community.

“I wanted to use these T-shirts to increase school spirit along with creating more money for each sport individually,” said Slepko.

All of the funds raised for spirit wear, rather than going to a corporation or Slepko, were given right back to the program. This might not be the same amount of money for each department. For example, if there are more orders for field hockey than football, there will be more money given to field hockey. Overall, over $5,000 was raised in LR spirit wear from over 300 orders.

Adopt-A-Bolts has drawn interest from the Long Reach community: “We have already had a handful of winter sports students asking about when they can start ordering theirs [and]  have also had a couple clubs ask about the process,” said Baum. “It seems to be loved by the staff and students, and we hope it continues to thrive.”

Slepko added, “[Having the shirts is] kind of a reflection because you have some of your friends’ last names and numbers on your T-shirt and the sport they played, so you can always just kind of have that with you as a way of remembering.”

Adopt-A-Bolt will serve as a lifelong memory for Long Reach students, and hopefully will extend to other seasons and possibly clubs too. For fall sports, athletes are grateful to have a cheaper and more beneficial alternative to the original spirit wear website.

Article updated on 1/3/2020.