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Tim Satterthwaite pays it forward
Surplus sale punctuates Random Acts of Kindness Week
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Eric Rohn did not leave Saturdays UW surplus sale at the Fennimore Memorial Building empty-handed. - photo by Robert Callahan photo

If you notice an increase in people clad in Wisconsin Badgers apparel in the coming weeks, it is no coincidence.

The Fennimore Memorial Building hosted a UW athletic sale on Saturday, Aug. 8. A line of eager shoppers stretched from the Memorial Building doors to the crossing guard shelter prior to the sale’s start at 11 a.m.

The sale was the result of an act of kindness by Madison man Tim Satterthwaite, a Fennimore native and loyal Badgers fan.

Satterthwaite is a faithful attendee of a surplus sale of Wisconsin apparel in Madison each year, having attended each year for nearly a decade.

“I go to this sale every year and I noticed a lot of it was still there at the end of the day,” he said. “I approached the people there and told them my idea and asked them if we could get a bulk buying discount. They agreed and thought it was very thoughtful and that was that.”

Satterthwaite attended this year’s UW sale and bought. And bought. And bought.

“Just in shoes I bought 383 pair,” he said. “With everything else thrown in and all the stuff I still have at my home, it would be around 1,000 items bought this year.

“Last year I think I bought 100, which is still a lot. I buy this stuff to use as donations and give to charity events. Since Derek’s passing I have been doing this non stop, donating probably $5,000 to $7,000 in items every year to lots of different events and charities.”

Fennimore football coach Boone Tollefson was in awe of the number of items purchased by Satterthwaite.

“I never could fathom how much it was until I physically saw it,” he said. “ Until we picked it up and starting putting it in trailers and laying it out here, you didn’t fathom how much stuff this really is. This is a multi-community event.

Hopefully we have student-athletes from other communities picking stuff up as well.

“There is a lot, and 382 pairs of cleats is hard to visualize until they are actually in front of you. I am glad for the kids that they are able to get a lot of good stuff for a lot less than they were going to pay in stores. We had more than enough cleats for all of our high school and junior high plus all of the other communities around us. It benefited so many people.”

Proceeds from Saturday’s sale benefited the Fennimore Grid-Iron Association.

“I think the biggest benefit it is not just the Grid-Iron, it is that student-athletes can come and get affordable, quality gear for next to nothing,” Tollefson said. “You are talking $150 cleats for $20. They can all stock up for their entire career if they want to. It saves them time, it saves them a lot of money, it gives them good stuff and obviously it benefits the Grid-Iron as well.”

Eric Rohn, a 2014 Fennimore High School graduate, was among the shoppers Saturday morning.

“I made sure I marked my calendar for this, and even when I showed up early Saturday, there was still quite a waiting line going down the sidewalk,” he said. “I think it is safe to say this donation was well-received by the community. The items were pretty hard to resist and anything to benefit the Fennimore Grid-Iron Association is always a great gesture in my eyes.

“We all owe a big thanks to Tim Satterthwaite for the great donation and for all others involved in making this happen.”
The Grid-Iron Association hosts an annual chili supper and oversees concessions at Fennimore’s junior high football games.

“Their number one priority has always been taking care of youth football in Fennimore and making sure we have the equipment and everything that is needed to oufit these young players without charging them $100 or anything like that,” Tollefson said. “There is only a minimal fee to participate in football in Fennimore.

“When they are able to, the Grid-Iron supports high school football as well, by paying coaches clinic fees and setting up the camps and everything like that, and buying equipment that is needed that we can’t get in the budget.”