Last week, the De La Salle junior varsity basketball team, led by head coach Joe Jolet, '98, took part in a service project that benefited The Butterfly Collective, a nonprofit set up to aid victims of domestic violence. Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, the mother of DLS freshman Dane Debbrecht, worked with the nonprofit’s founder, Lynne Fiscelli, to organize the initiative.
Jolet and his Pilots student-athletes, including Debbrecht, spent the day helping two domestic violence survivors move furniture and other items into their new homes, after driving to six different spots to pick up the household items.
One of the two survivors and her three children had been in and out of various shelters for eight straight months prior to moving into their new home Sunday.
It was an experience that made Jolet proud to be a Pilot.
“It was an absolute pleasure to help out The Butterfly Collective,” Jolet said. “It really helped my guys think about the faith-filled education one receives at De La Salle and how it feels better to give than to receive. I’ve told my guys since day one about the significance of wearing the DLS logo. It’s way more than a logo. It’s a way of life.”
As for sophomore Dylan Trondle and his De La Salle teammates, it was a humbling day filled with plenty of emotion. Trondle, for one, was overcome with joy as he watched the young boy of one of the domestic abuse victims get to jump on his new trampoline – which was delivered to the boy’s apartment by the Pilots – for the first time.
“We brought a mini trampoline to one of the apartments we went to, and the kid was just so happy,” Trondle recounted. “He had numerous broken bones when he was a year old, and it just hit me real hard, seeing the excitement on this boy’s face when he saw the trampoline. It made me think of just how lucky I am to be at De La Salle and to have all the privileges that I do in my life.”
Trondle, a captain on the junior varsity squad, garnered a vital lesson from the day of service: to never take what he has for granted.
“We have so much going for us by coming to De La Salle,” Trondle said. “The school logo, just like Coach said, symbolizes a way of life, one that is about service. As Pilots, we are called to live out God’s mission and to serve others every chance that we get.”
Trondle and his teammates certainly answered the call Sunday, exemplifying what it means to be of service to the community.
And, as both Trondle and Jolet expressed, engaging in service is not just a one-time event at De La Salle. It’s, instead, a way of life and a part of the DLS difference, helping the school achieve its ultimate goal: building boys into men.
For more information on The Butterfly Collective, please visit https://www.thebutterflycollective.org/