DuBOIS — For the second consecutive season, the DuBois Dream has decided to team up with A-Line Apparel Company and Penn Highlands Healthcare to bring the DuBois Dream fans an opportunity to design the next DuBois Dream Uniform, except this time, it comes with an added twist, according to the DuBois Dream website.

With the ongoing importance of taking care of one’s mental health, the DuBois Dream team has decided to wear a “Mental Health Themed Uniform” to bring awareness to the struggle some individuals deal with on a daily basis. In recent studies in the United States, it has been found that almost half of adults will experience a mental illness during their lifetime and half of all mental disorders begin by age 14.

“Mental Health and bullying are two things we really want to focus on this Season,” DuBois Dream owner/player Albert Varacallo III stated. “There is no reason why anyone should feel bad about who they are or about being different. Everyone has their quirks and differences, so this year we really want to highlight the fact that it is okay to be different.”

In keeping with that theme of “it is okay to be different,” the DuBois Dream is requesting that all Fan Uniform Design Contest Submissions have a sideways number.

“I came across the idea one day and thought it would be really cool to incorporate it into the DuBois Dream Season somehow,” Varacallo said. “This Dream season is all about having fun and being yourself, so what better way to show that than wearing a sideways number on your uniform and feeling comfortable with it not being ‘normal.’ We really want the fans to have fun with this idea, and I know they will come up with something amazing like they did last year.”

With an emphasis on anti-bullying this year, the DuBois Dream is planning to incorporate that into their talks at each of their school visits.

“We have really seen a need to step in and speak out on the issues regarding bullying, especially in our school visits, so we are looking forward to emphasizing that when we do our annual visits during the Dream Season,” Varacallo said.

In the United States, it has been reported that 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 are bullied during the school year. However, it has also been shown that more than half of those bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

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“Bullying and making fun of people for who they are is not cool, so if we can help empower a student to step up and help others through our school visits, our talks, or even just this uniform design idea, it will be a win in the end in my eyes,” said Varacallo.

Anyone who would like to participate in the DuBois Dream Mental Health Awareness Fan Uniform Design Contest or would like to schedule the Dream for a visit to their school are asked to submit a design and/or e-mail them for more details at info@duboisdream.com or duboisdream@gmail.com. The Dream plan to introduce the uniforms as well as many other ideas with top sponsor, Penn Highlands Healthcare, ahead of their Mental Health Awareness night slated for Jan. 11. All uniform designs must be submitted by Dec. 6 in order to be considered for the contest. The winner of the contest will receive their customized uniform with their name and number on the back.

Blank uniform design contest sheets can be printed from the DuBois Dream website or can be designed at the DuBois Dream Charity Exhibition Game this Saturday. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at DuBois Central Catholic and admission is free for any individual who donates a winter coat, clothing, hat, gloves, scarf, etc. to their non-profit partner for the game Square One. To find out more, follow the DuBois Dream social media pages.

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