DUBUQUE – What started off as a small idea has grown into something much more.
When four fourteen year old boys died in an accident on August 2, the Western Dubuque Community was left to pick up the pieces.
Tom Rauen, owner of EnvisionTees in Dubuque, helped out in the only way he knew how: with a t-shirt.
“A t-shirt can really personify a lot of emotion,” Tom believes.
Rauen designed and printed these Bobcat Strong shirts when community members reached out to him about wanting to make a shirt. Selling them at just $10 apiece, he decided to give all profits to the families of the four boys.
“We wanted to one, raise awareness and show support for the families, and then raise some money for the families during this time,” Rauen stated.
The support for his idea was overwhelming. The first 1,000 shirts were sold in just one hour, and nearly 3,000 sold in just one day.
Robin Kruse, a Western Dubuque High School parent, is impressed by the far reach the shirts have had. “It’s everybody. I mean, other schools even are participating in it so it’s really, really cool.”
Tom is also pleasantly surprised by the support from other communities, saying, “I was driving by Senior and I saw two kids wearing them walking into Senior High School. So seeing something like that is, you know, really neat.”
“They have been a tremendous support and I think the community really feels like this is a special shirt and a special time for the whole community to pull together,” Western Dubuque High School Principal Dave Hoeger said.
As for Tom, he’s just happy to help.
“Anytime we can make a difference with t-shirts, we will do what we can.”
Allison is a senior at Loras College and is a Dubuque native. She's the Producer of LCTV News, along with Payton Van Vors, as well as an anchor and reporter. This past summer, Allison had an internship with KCRG in Dubuque, and she's continuing to work for them this Fall. Allison reports because she loves keeping her community informed on issues and events that matter to them.