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UWF Volleyball Team Serves the Community

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

Winning games isn’t the only thing that UWF’s Volleyball team is known for-they are also known for serving those in need. The Argos held their third annual “Pack it Pink” match Oct. 10 in support of breast cancer awareness and raised $1,800 for the Side-Out Foundation as well as the Susan G. Koman Institute. They will continue their efforts by participating in the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk Oct. 31. Last year, they raised more than $5,000 between the volleyball match and the walk. A cancer survivor herself, head volleyball coach Melissa Wolter strongly believes in supporting the cause.

“Each year, we try and make the ‘Pack it Pink’ match a little better,” said Wolter. “For example, this year, we invited all local cancer survivors and loved ones of those who lost their lives to cancer, as well as friends and family, to a reception before the match. Each of them was recognized publicly with flowers before the match by UWF President Bense and Athletic Director Dave Scott.”

Prior to the match, 500 free pink t-shirts were given away and fans were encouraged to participate in a silent auction with items including pink UWF volleyball jerseys and autographed balls.

“The ‘Pack it Pink’ match is one of my favorite all year,” said Chelsea Wilhoite, junior volleyball coach. “It’s awesome to look up into the stands and see the support that everyone has for the cause.”

Cancer awareness isn’t the only cause the volleyball team supports. This past May, the women traveled to Nicaragua where they visited local schools, orphanages and locally owned shops to deliver much needed supplies.

“Each member of the team brought down a 50-pound bag of supplies,” said Volleyball Captain Patricia Gandolfo, a senior at UWF. Seeing the people of Nicaragua enjoy the simple things in life made our team realize how fortunate we are to have what we have.”

The team will host their first “Nica Night” at their upcoming second annual Black Out match to be held Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. against West Alabama. This will be the final Gulf South Conference match of 2009 on the home court of the Argonauts. There will be donation containers set up, and fans who donate a minimum of $10 will receive a black t-shirt to wear for the match. All donations will benefit the Global Orphan Fund, which goes directly to support the children in Nicaragua whom the team worked with during their trip.

“The UWF Volleyball program is about teaching young student athletes life lessons,” said Wolter. “Through participating in charitable events, I feel that we allow our players to see what a great impact these small efforts can make.”

To learn more about the UWF Volleyball team, visit goargos.com.

Written by Lauren Smith, University Marketing Communications

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