Hobart Athletics first became involved with the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) in 2007.
When Hobart hockey player Ryan Adler ’09 founded an intercollegiate program called Hockey Helpers, the Hobart Hockey team began raising money for WWP, a national non-profit organization that provides tangible support to the new generation of severely injured service members upon their return home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas around the world.
Hobart Hockey Helpers worked in association with WWP to bring attention and support to the veterans wounded during the wars, and this year, other Hobart sports teams are following Adler’s lead, expanding the role of the WWP on the HWS campus.
Angelo Catalano ’10 of the Hobart Football team as well as Tim Ivory ’10 (captain) and Michael Barlow ’11 of the Hobart Basketball team are picking up where Adler left off, organizing various events throughout the year to raise money for WWP.
“We each have friends and family in the U.S. military and because of that we feel a sense of loyalty to these wounded warriors who sacrifice so much for our way of life. This is something we really wanted to do, something we feel good about,” says Catalano.
The fundraising efforts will kick off with the “Camouflage Contest” on Saturday, Oct. 3, when the Hobart football team will show their support for WWP during the game against Liberty League rival St. Lawrence University with custom camouflage jerseys, detailed with the American flag and the logos of Hobart College and the WWP. Custom apparel will be on sale during the event, including T-shirts and hats, each sporting the WWP and Hobart football logos. All apparel, including the customizable camouflage jerseys, will be available online for purchase at www.shopgraph-tex.com.
A raffle of memorabilia autographed by some of the biggest names in professional sports will take place at an extended halftime show as the final piece of the “Camouflage Contest.” Details can be found on the flyers around campus advertising this event.
“These teams know this money is going to the best of causes, to benefit the people who make America what it is,” Ivory says.
Preparations for this year’s WWP efforts started during the spring 2009 semester, but with ads going up in campus buildings; letters going out to football alumni and members of the Statesmen Athletic Association; and word of mouth spreading news around campus and around Geneva, Catalano says that “it’s crunch time now.”
During the Saturday, Sept. 19 home football game versus Carnegie Melon, which aired on the Time Warner Cable network, Barlow and Ivory appeared in a commercial, promoting WWP and encouraging donations and support. “Putting this together has been a lot of work but it’s more than worth it,” says Barlow. “Every dollar we raise will go to the Wounded Warriors. We want to get the word out to our fellow students, their families and the Geneva community. It is a truly American cause.”