The Daily Herald published the following article about the September 29, 2016 swim meet between the St. Charles North and St. Charles East high schools. The teams from both schools raised money to benefit the For Scout Foundation, which is administered by the Community Foundation.
The For Scout Foundation, named in honor of St. Charles resident and avid swimmer Scout Cantrell, who passed away 23 months ago, has become special to St. Charles’ girls swim teams. Scout’s older sister Kate is a sophomore on St. Charles North’s varsity team, but she also swam for the St. Charles Swim Club, and athletes on both teams knew her.
“There’s a whole underlying thing with this meet that’s bigger than the meet,” St. Charles North coach Rob Rooney said. “I think the For Scout Foundation is helping unite the swimming community in this town, and that’s good. There are a lot of people who want to go ‘East-North’ and ‘North-East’ — and we can both be teams working to do things, and the For Scout Foundation is helping us to do that, and that’s positive.”
On Thursday, as they did in 2015, swimmers from both teams wore pink caps with their respective school logos while fans wore pink T-shirts in support of the foundation, and the amounts raised were substantial. A check was presented for $4,840, onto which was added $500 by the St. Charles East team. Young Ella Schuldt won the 50-50 raffle and returned the $407, which added a further $814.
All of it left Felicity Cantrell, Scout and Kate’s mother, choked up as she spoke during a break in the meet, when she mentioned that her father, Stephen Lohm, passed away a week ago in New Jersey, and one of his final requests was that $30,000 be donated on behalf of him and his surviving wife Sharon to the foundation as a gift to the swimmers and people of St. Charles.
“We just had a woman come up before the meet tonight and say she had lost her job and she’s pregnant and that she’d heard that there might be something here about free lessons. I’m glad to say that because of the For Scout Foundation, her son will be learning to swim,” Felicity Cantrell said.
Other causes of the For Scout Foundation include animal rescue, supplies and instruments for art and music classroom and ADA compliant playground equipment. The generosity of the foundation’s work is not lost on either the Saints or the North Stars.
“To take something so terrible and to make it a positive for the future is wonderful,” St. Charles East coach Joe Cabel said. “Felicity and her husband Tony have created an enduring legacy and, for our girls, that’s a pretty powerful moment. It’s a great life lesson.”