Just because one is not big in stature does not mean one cannot have a big heart. And that’s what a group of fifth- and sixth-graders on a local travel basketball team proved just a few weeks ago with giant-sized donation.

A group of girls basketball players from the Camden-Rockport area, playing on a team called “Chills,” have been helped mightily the past few months by the Mikali R. Russo More Opportunities for Neighborhood Youth (Money) Athletic Foundation, which has helped it be able to participate in tournaments around the state.

Those young athletes decided they wanted to give back — and did so in a big way.

The girls basketball team held a “Shoot-A-Thon” to raise money for the Russo foundation, as each girl made themselves responsible to find sponsors to offer one dollar for each foul shot they made out of 100 attempts.

The girls are certainly sharpshooters, as the team raised exactly $1,000 for the Money Athletic Foundation. Team representative Elizabeth Cummons presented the donation to Lincolnville Central School principal and secretary of the Money Athletic Foundation Paul Russo, the father of the late Mikail Russo.

Needless to say, Russo was excited about the donation.

“We were blown away,” said Russo. “It was a very nice surprise for us, and certainly we’re very appreciative of it. We think it’s very cool that these kids at that young age can see the value in doing that kind of community service and helping out other kids because that’s essentially what we’re doing. We turn around and help these kids to go to camp or their travel teams or [whatever they need].”

According to the website, the Money Athletic Foundation was created to ease the cost of youth athletics and that their mission is to help Maine teams, organizations and individual athletes who show need. The “Chills” team had their entry fees paid for, which typically pays for uniforms, officials and other associated costs.

“It’s not always easy for parents to keep digging in and helping the kids with that, so that’s why we’re here to help,” Russo said.

Team members include Maddie Wickenden, Julia Holt, Avery Roy, Ari Curtis, Charlotte Messer, Cummons, Madelyn Bowman, Faith McQuarters, Emma Trapani and manager Casey Messer. The team is coached by Marty Messer and Michael Roy.

For more information on the charity, contact Russo at the Lincolnville School 763-3366 or via e-mail at paul_russo@fivetowns.net.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.