No Matter Where They May Roam, Detroiters Want To Give Back To Home
People seem to hold on to the “Detroiter” label no matter where they physically move. Sometimes, even from afar, they work to contribute to the D.
Here is one such story and one that comes with a good cause.
Detroit has always had a sort of diaspora. Our young people tend to move away and try and make their fortunes elsewhere. I am guilty of that. After college I moved to Florida and later to Colorado to ride out my twenties in a roar of beach parties and chairlifts. Many return as the siren song of family and career take over. After all, Metro Detroit isn’t the worst place to finally grow up.
A childhood friend I had not seen in a long time recently popped up on the radar. I knew Chris Scaglione in high school and is one of those people that life takes away in the vortex of future, only to be found again through the strange web of social media.
Scaglione moved from Detroit to Atlanta in 2004 for a job. On a whim, five years later he made another move to Orlando where he lost his job and was unemployed for almost a year. Remember this was a few years ago, right in the middle of the recession. It wasn’t easy for anyone. At one point he found himself working as a busboy trying to make things work.
Detroiters have a work ethic and ability to tough it out like nobody else, no matter where their current address.
Through a friend he met former Olympic Gold Medalist and third-generation Olympian Jim Shea Jr. who won gold in Salt Lake City in men’s Skeleton racing. It is similar to bobsledding but it is a one man affair. One of those sports you can’t help but to question the participant’s sanity as they scream down an ice tube at break-neck speed. Scaglione with a lifetime of hockey under his belt decided to give the Olympics a shot.
“Shea convinced me to make an attempt at bobsledding. Ice was my thing so I started training to get my mind off being unemployed, hoping it would pull me out a hole and it definitely did. I went to the US teams trials and realized I had a lot of work to do,” Scaglione said.
That Detroit determination held fast and he decided to focus and continue his training. Mental and physical acuity takes a great deal of work. Anyone who has ever trained hard for things knows that it is a two way street. Your brain and muscles both need to be sharpened if you want to succeed. He eventually found coachTom Shaw. He’s a world class coach who has helped some of sport’s finest athletes reach their goals.
“Most athletes have some kind of funding. I was a 30 something starting a new sport and new life chapter. With what seemed like no hope my friends and family kept telling me they would help and support my training. Coming from Detroit my DNA was always built for hard work and not taking handouts. Hard work pays off. Starting Monday and ending Friday. Then another Monday comes around. Week in week out aches and pains. It is the same in sports as in a career. Then the smoke cleared and I had an idea,” Scaglione continued.
All of us reach a point each week. Monday, Tuesday.. then you just want to throw your hands in the air sometimes. Our resolve starts to erode ever so slightly and we wonder why on Earth we are carrying on like this.
“We all have a few t-shirts that we love and are lightweight, comfortable and made out of ultra premium material right? So why not make a shirt that was going to be your GO TO shirt when you wanted to be comfortable. I took that idea: Mt-WTF had a logo designed, ordered 50 shirts and within weeks my family, friends and the pro athletes I trained with bought them all… Then demanded more,” Scaglione added.
Fast forward to today. Scaglione has more than 50 athletes, from a gold medalist, a Super Bowl MVP, NFL first round draft picks, an NBA first round pick, MLB stars and future professional stars not only wearing Mt-WTF gear but using it to support local charities.
Athletes like Santonio Holmes who supports the fight against sickle cell anemia with his III & Long are using Mt-WTF to raise money for their chosen charities.
“I saw the potential to help others and put my dreams aside. Helping those in need is going to have a greater impact in the long run. We have helped the 16-year-old pro surfer Logan Hayes get to competitions, his father is single and supports two children. That’s awesome,” Scaglione said.
As Mt-WTF and Scaglione move forward the goal is simple. Build new relationships with athletes that he is surrounded by to create unique clothing lines for their particular charities. Seek out new amateur and pro atheletes with superior drive and determination. Specifically, those with outstanding character and a backstory to help them follow their dreams, all the while opening new avenues and connecting with more communities, local artists and celebrities.
Scaglione is looking for a local Detroit charity and some local athletes to get involved with. This is where you, the reader, can come in handy. If you have any connections or suggestions feel free to contact them. He’d like to see some Detroit athletes using this unique concept to help out local charities. Detroit has no end to its potential for growth and through that growth we all need to be on the look out for ways we can help.
“My roots are born and bred here in Detroit. Molded by that blue-collar hard-working philosophy. So I always strive to keep that in my designs and quality of product,” Scaglione said.
Full story: http://hellyeahdetroit.com/no-matter-where-they-may-roam-detroiters-want-to-give-back-to-home/