Virtual fundraiser exceeds $10K goal
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
The “Sell Out the Stadium” campaign proved to be a great success, as the school easily exceeded its goal of $10,000, raising $23,751.
“I think it was a great event. I think we made the most of a tough situation and I think that our fans, our supporters and our alumni really showed what makes Southern Connecticut such a special place,” said Associate Director of Athletics Ken Sweeten. “They answered the call when we were trying to make something out of, unfortunately, nothing and I think it was a great event and it’s something we’ll look to do again in the future.”
Due to the pandemic and the inability to host a traditional homecoming, the university opted to have a virtual event centered around supporting its athletic programs at the university.
Swimming and Diving raised the most money, as they received $6,405 from 207 donors, followed by Women’s Lacrosse who raised $4,365 from 151 donors. Other teams that were able to raise over $1,000 included Men’s cross country and track and field, football, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, baseball and softball.
“Tim Quill’s done a great job of building his program and does a great job with alumni relations. Keeping in touch with his past athletes and they’re very much engaged regularly with the program. Tim keeps them informed and he’s seen some outstanding athletes come through here throughout his time,” said Sweeten. “He’s built a good program and I don’t think it’s a poor reflection on any other team. I think the participation of all were great across the board. It’s just a testament to how Quill has put his program together.”
In total, the $23,751 donated came from 558 donors, greatly surpassing the predetermined goal of 200 donors. The donations came from all over the country, including California, Texas and Florida.
“I think it’s great to see the support all across the country. I think it just goes to show how deep the tradition of excellence at Southern runs and I think it’s great to see that spread all over the country and coming back to us in New Haven,” said football player Bobby Valeri, a Senior.
The virtual homecoming showcased many faculty and staff for the festivities, including Assistant Coordinator of Athletic Facilities Jay Turiano, who made a video tutorial of himself making his buffalo chicken dip from his home.
“I actually wasn’t virtually available, so Ken helped me shoot the video and it was awesome. It was a good experience, you know,” said Turiano. “We had everything ready to go, shot the video, and I think it came out really good. Overall, it was a great event. We raised over 20k and it was great to see all of our alumni supporters come out.”
Seeing success, despite not being able to gain money from traditional ticket sales, the event may happen again in the future.
University officials are pleased with the outcome. Sweeten said they are potentially looking to have a similar event in the spring because of the success they saw.