Photo courtesy of UR Tennis

As varsity athletes at the University of Rochester, we often find that we lose sight of exactly what we represent when we compete.  Beyond ourselves and our teammates, we are also playing for the UR community as a whole.

This connection between varsity athletics and the rest of UR is not always felt as a close bond, which is why we cherish any opportunity to give back to the community and form a stronger bond with the rest of campus.

With this in mind, on Friday, Feb. 13, the Men’s and Women’s Varsity Tennis teams, joined by the Women’s Varsity Lacrosse team, took part in Strong Memorial Hospital’s Drive for Miracles Radiothon for the second consecutive year.

With 100.5 The Drive and News Radio WHAM 1180 broadcasting the event live from the hospital, radio hosts encouraged their listeners to donate to Golisano Children’s Hospital by calling in to the donation hotline, where we were waiting at the phones ready to answer.

By the end of the two day event, the stations had raised almost $250,000.

Many of the athletes were also given the chance to enagage in conversation live over the airwaves with the hosts, a unique and fun experience for us that hopefully was amusing for listeners as well.  While there was certainly no shortage of playful banter between the hosts and athletes–including a last second search for some Valentine’s Day dates–we also had the chance to explain in our own words exactly why we were participating in such an event.

“This is one of the best hospitals anywhere,” senior Men’s Tennis captain Julian Danko said. “And it’s great

Photo courtesy of UR Tennis

to be able to help out.”

Echoing Danko’s sentiments, sophomore Matt Golub told WHAM 1180 host Bob Lonsberry that the team is glad to give back to the local community, especially for a cause as special as the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The fundraiser was only the beginning of a busy weekend for Men’s Tennis, as we took on crosstown rival RIT the next day to begin our spring season with a 9-0 win, before falling to Division I Colgate University 7-2 on Sunday.  Despite the mixed results on court, any weekend where we can help raise almost a quarter of a million dollars for a children’s hospital in our own community is an undisputed success.

Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.

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