The Hobart football team received a warm, public thank you from Cheryl Coppola, vice president of foundation and development at Happiness House in Geneva, in Sunday’s Finger Lakes Times. Offensive lineman Patrick O’Connell ’16 and linebacker Austin Gallegos ’17, who have led the team’s fundraising event “Tackles and Touchdowns” for the past two years, were praised for their leadership in the effort that asks donors to pledge an amount based on the number of touchdowns the team scores during a game.
Hobart won this year’s game against St. Lawrence (19-17) on Nov. 7. The total raised this year is still being finalized but Happiness House reports that the program has raised more than $30,000 for the agency in the past four years. Happiness House offers programs and services for children and adults with disabilities, and their families.
The full guest column follows:
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Touchdowns, tackles for a cause
By Cheryl Coppola, special to the Finger Lakes Times
It is with deepest gratitude and humblest hearts that Happiness House acknowledges the amazing Hobart College Statesmen football team for their dedication to our mission of supporting people with disabilities. Players, along with the Hobart College Athletic Department, commit their time, effort, and contributions in support of our Foundation Endowment Fund through their “Tackles and Touchdowns” fundraiser.
We want to especially thank players Patrick O’Connell and Austin Gallegos for leading the charge for the second year in a row. Donors either gave a direct gift or made a pledge to give based on the number of “tackles” and “touchdowns” the Statesmen recorded in their game against St. Lawrence, which Hobart won 19-17. Pledges are still coming in for this year’s fundraiser, but since 2010, Tackles and Touchdowns has raised over $30,000 for our agency.
We also were very pleased that Holly Miller, a preschooler at Happiness House, was on hand to help with the coin toss at the big game. As a precursor to the game, Patrick and Austin were joined by teammates James Hedger, Brad Burns, and Zackary Robak in the preschool classrooms at Happiness House’s Geneva site.
The players witnessed firsthand how our agency changes lives every day. The children had a blast with the Statesmen, playing a gentle version of football with them and experiencing true caring and compassion from these wonderful young men.
All schools compete to receive high rankings in official college reports. However, to the staff, individuals, and families of Happiness House, Hobart will always rank No. 1. Thank you, Hobart Statesmen, for all that you do to support the mission of Happiness House!