St. Charles East’s football season has been finished for weeks. Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Saints’ 2013 season will surface Friday during a school assembly at East.
That’s when an $11,500 check will be presented to the American Cancer Society for kidney cancer research thanks to the Saints’ season-long “Score For Scott” campaign, according to Christine Hopper, mother of St. Charles East senior Phil Hopper.
Phil Hopper is close friends with fellow East senior Mitch Munroe, whose father, Scott Munroe, died from kidney cancer July 5.
The Saints wore “Score for Scott” T-shirts beneath their uniforms throughout the season, and players took pledges based on the number of touchdowns the Saints scored, with numerous variations factoring into the fundraising formula.
“Everyone had their own little thing,” Hopper said. “It was kind of a lot of fun to figure out at the end, but everyone was really generous with that, especially Scott’s company.”
Scott Munroe worked in the finance industry for BNY Mellon-Pershing, which donated $5,000 toward the fundraising campaign in his honor.
Scott Munroe’s wife and Mitch’s mother, Kelli Munroe, said the emotional investment the Saints made throughout the season was “bigger than I ever imagined.”
“They made Friday trips to the cemetery before the games, prayers, a lot of looking up to the sky after touchdowns – certain kids just pledged their season to him – it was just very overwhelming, and kind of cool for 17-year-old boys,” Kelli Munroe said.
East quarterback Jimmy Mitchell helped design the “Score for Scott” T-shirts, which proved incredibly popular, even beyond the original intent. More than 500 shirts were sold.
“When we started selling them, there were boys from Geneva and Batavia that also bought shirts because they knew Scott, too, or had them as a coach [in youth football], so I thought it was great,” Hopper said.
Mitch Munroe, a starting receiver/defensive back for the Saints, is among four siblings.
In addition to honoring Scott Munroe’s memory, Kelli said her children’s futures provided plenty of motivation for the fundraising efforts.
Scott Munroe might have had cancer for more than a decade before he was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer in January.
“Obviously going forward with my kids, my 17-year-old son asks me ‘What does this mean for me?’ so hopefully the insurance companies and everyone else will do something for early detection and screening, especially if it’s in people’s families,” Kelli Munroe said. “I have a friend who actually got [diagnosed] in Stage I, and he’s doing fine.”
For the record, the Saints scored 45 touchdowns on the season. Mitch Munroe led the way, scoring nine of them.
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.