FIRST Time in History: The Kress Events Center was over run by fans wearing purple instead of green. Students and fans of all stripes donned purple to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease at a volleyball match against IUPUI October 19.
The first 400 students received a free, Green Bay Volleyball #EndAlz t-shirt, and there was a Dash-for-Cash fundraiser during the match. In addition, members of The Alzheimer’s Association were at the doors during the game for educational purposes, and to accept cash and checks from those who wanted to donate. All told, UWGB proudly raised $6,000 dollars during the win against IUPUI!
Safe to say, the team was super happy about the fundraising event as first year Head Coach Abbey Sutherland has personally been affected by Alzheimer’s disease: Her mom, Rhonda Sutherland, was diagnosed with Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease – meaning it was just bad luck for her as there’s no previous family history of the disease.
“My number one goal coming into this year was to increase fan attendance because it certainly helps our players perform better,” Coach said. “I also wanted our team to be a bigger part of the community and figured this was a good chance to do so. The large crowd was not only good for the players, but it was good for the awareness of the disease too.”
We Figured Out Our WHY!
“The atmosphere was amazing” said Senior Volleyball Player Vanessa Buman. “We played differently… like, we figured out our ‘why,’ and once we figured that out it was easy to find that energy. To play for something greater than ourselves was special.”
With the coach and team happy with the win, along with the amazing support from the fans, it was a good day for UWGB. It turned out to be one of the most successful fundraising events in Green Bay Athletics history. Not just the money raised, but the support of everyone attending.
“It was very overwhelming with the amount of support we had at the game,” Coach added. “Not only me, but five others on our team have been affected by Alzheimer’s. My dad was there with a ton of other family members and friends.”
These great fans helped The Alzheimer’s Association, Coach Sutherland and her family, and UWGB as well. The Sutherland family’s goal was to get the word out that the Alzheimer’s Association does a great job helping caregivers and educating college students about this disease – in case one of their loved ones is diagnosed.
UWGB came together to help a cause bigger than the university itself. Alzheimer’s Awareness Night was a very special night in the 50-Year History of UWGB.
TEAM UPDATE: The team clinched its first Horizon League Regular Season Championship with a comeback win in five sets against UIC last week. The Champs are now hosting the Horizon League Volleyball Championship at the Kress Events Center this weekend.
UWGB gets a bye into the semifinals and will play Saturday afternoon at 3PM. See ticket prices and the full bracket. GO PHOENIX
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