Bonduel athletes come to the aid of Pulaski burn victims

The football team is using proceeds from their playoff shirts to help Pulaski victims. Players talk about the Bonduel-Pulaski bond.
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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BONDUEL, Wis. (WBAY) - Pulaski is only 15 minutes away from the village of Bonduel, but football brings everyone together.

The seniors on Bonduel’s football team may be awaiting Crivitz in the WIAA playoffs, but they’re doing something much bigger by honoring their friends and relatives who were victims of this past week’s bonfire explosion near Pulaski by literally wearing their support on their backs.

It’s playoff time around Wisconsin and especially at Bonduel High School. The girls’ volleyball team faced Oconto in the playoffs Tuesday night.

But the buzz surrounding the game was actually about the football team’s playoff shirts and who they’re thinking about during the Bears’ playoff run: victims of the bonfire that went wrong.

“Instead of using the money to have an after-season party for the football team, we thought it would be more beneficial to the community to give the families of the victims of what happened last weekend all of the profits that we make from the T-shirts,” Bonduel senior lineman Sawyer Klotzbuecher explained.

The shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies have only been on sale for a couple of days but they’ve already received quite the response.

It was an idea from the seniors on the football team, who understand the concept that the team is more important than the individual.

“We’re thinking about others before ourselves. If we were thinking about ourselves, we could have taken this money to do other things, but instead we’re going to put it to a better use where it’s actually needed,” center and defensive tackle Parker Perry said.

“We’re a community that cares ... that we like to take care of one another. Even though they’re not part of our community, we’re still reaching out, giving a helping hand, showing them that we’re there for them, and we can do whatever we can to help,” running back/wide receiver Josiah Basten said.

Some of the Bonduel players either knew or have relatives who were affected by the bonfire blast, so the opportunity to help their neighbor was one that hit home.

“It was a tragedy, man. I didn’t know what to think of it. So, the fact that this thing blew up as much as it did, I’m just glad that we can do our part to help,” Perry said.

“Showing Pulaski that, no matter what they’re going through, no matter what they need, that Bonduel’s got your back no matter what,” Basten said.

Orders for the gear must be received Wednesday, Oct. 19. Prices are $20 for T-shirts, $26 for crew necks, and $35 for hoodies. There is a Google Doc for placing orders, CLICK HERE. Note that the information you provide on this spreadsheet is visible to others. You can also reach out to organizers on Facebook.

The football team plays Friday night at Crivitz in the first round of the playoffs.

The girls’ volleyball team swept Oconto in straight sets.

Some good things are coming out of Bonduel.