UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers take time to say thanks


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The Badger Funds 9th Annual Student-Athlete Thank-a-Thon was recently held December 8 -11 at Camp Randall Stadium and ended as another resounding success!

More than 230 student-athletes representing the majority of the 23 UW athletic teams volunteered their time last week to call more than 5,400 randomly selected donors nationwide to thank them for their financial support of Wisconsin Athletics. Donors who were not reached by telephone received a personal thank you note from a student-athlete.

The annual Thank-a-Thon is an important component of our development efforts and it is great to see our head coaches and student-athletes really embrace this effort each year, said Marija Pientka, associate athletic director for development and former UW womens tennis student-athlete. It offers a unique opportunity for our student-athletes to reach out and thank those donors who contribute each year to UW Athletics. It also allows us to educate our student-athletes on why private support is important and the impact that it has on their experience at the University of Wisconsin.

The effort made by Badger student-athletes was tremendous throughout the four-day event and all seemed to enjoy taking the time out to say thank you. Tom Kelliher, a freshman on the wrestling team said, This was my first year to participate in the Thank-a-Thon and I had some good conversations. One person told me that he enjoyed getting the call to say thanks, which was nice. I had a good time calling.

As much fun as the student-athletes had making the calls to say thank you, those who received the calls were very appreciative as well. Janet Brodhead of Madison commented, I had a womens basketball player call me just to say thank you. I really appreciated the fact that she took the time out of her busy schedule to do that. I was impressed and appreciated the call.

Loyde Childs, from Marshall, Wis., wrote in a letter addressed to mens hockey head coach Mike Eaves: Last night Sean Dolan called me to thank me for our support of the Badger Fund. I really was impressed with his sincerity and delivery. Kudos for the people behind this idea. It was great to talk to him. I told him to keep putting the puck in the net.

The UW Athletic Department is self-sustaining and receives no state tax dollars to support its annual operating budget. Success of the program relies on private gifts, as well as other external revenue sources, to meet its annual costs. Contributions are used to fund scholarships, equipment, travel and other needs as determined by the Director of Athletics.

Please contact the Badger Fund at 608-262-1000 or badgerfund@uwbadgers.com to learn more about how you can help support Wisconsin Athletics.

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