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Rebellion, Revolution, and Reforestation
"Bury a Goal, Bury a Pine" looks to raise money for global reforestation in New England and beyond
How much wood could Bobby Wood plant if Bobby Wood could plant wood? The answer might be based on how many goals he scores this season.
In January, The Rebellion announced their "Bury a Goal, Bury a Pine" fundraiser throughout the 2023 season, which benefits One Tree Planted, a Vermont-based non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. The Rebellion have pledged $10 to One Tree Planted for every goal the Revolution score during the MLS regular season. For every dollar donated to the organization, one tree is planted in a select region in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, or The Pacific.
"We saw that the Revs on average score around 40 to 60 goals a season," said Rebellion President Cory Cloutier. "[We said], well, the Portland Timbers are cutting down trees every time they score a goal. Why don't we bury one and go the opposite direction?"
The fundraiser is the latest philanthropic effort by The Rebellion, which did a community service project for all six states in 2021 and 2022. Their recent fundraisers have benefitted a wide range of organizations throughout New England, including Scituate Youth Soccer, Boston Scores, and OUT Maine. Going into 2023, The Rebellion set their sights on a fundraiser that would impact New England as a whole.
"This fundraiser not only is going to impact all six states, but it's going to impact the entire nation as a whole," said Cloutier. "We really want us to make more of a global impact, more than anything, since we already made our local northeast impact."
Since its inception in 2014, One Tree Planted has planted approximately 91.6 million trees across 78 countries. Their impact has grown year-over-year, increasing from 50,000 trees planted in 2015 to over 52.7 million trees planted in 2022. The organization is already looking at a large 2023, with over 44 million trees committed to be planted during the year.
Fundraising efforts for The Rebellion got to a strong start before the season even began as the Revolution volunteered to match their pledge upon finding out about it. "We were talking about a whole other topic and we just mentioned it to them," said Cloutier. "The immediate response was, 'Okay, well, we'll join you.' Instantly. So that was actually great to hear. We didn't even ask them to do that, they immediately just offered."
"So every goal that a Revs player scores, we're going to plant 20 trees, which is just under half an acre. We're trying to raise at least $1,000, so let's say 50 goals are scored, we're going to reach that goal automatically."
But "Bury a Goal, Bury a Pine” doesn't just rely on the success on Bobby Wood and company. Fans can support the fundraiser by purchasing "Bury Me In Pines" merchandise, which is available at The Rebellion’s online store. The Rebellion will donate 50% of the profits from these items to One Tree Planted. The Rebellion has also set up a donation page for those who want to donate to One Tree Planted directly.
For The Rebellion, "Bury A Goal, Bury a Pine" will be a focus throughout 2023 thanks to the efforts of so many throughout the organization: "It was an entire board effort where Tim (Batzinger) did the design, Mike (Simeone) came up with part of the slogan, I came up with the fundraiser portion. [Liz Barrett and Barrett Ison, community service co-chairs] ran with that idea and push this forward," said Cloutier. "So it was a group effort by the entire HQ."