Kick start the heart

Ferris RSO raises awareness for heart health

The Sports Careers RSO will be hosting their fourth straight Red Out event in support of heart health at Ferris’ home athletic events this Saturday, Feb. 24. 

The event raises money and awareness for heart health while allowing the Sports Careers RSO to impact Big Rapids in a personal and touching way during the games. 

“We’re trying to personalize it and bring it down to the individual level. Sport is essentially a community owned product and it’s a celebration of a community by coming to the game so in that moment you have the opportunity to remind the community of other values,” Sports Careers RSO adviser Dr. Sandra Alspach said. 

The members of the Sports Careers RSO have partnered with students in sports communication courses to build an event full of information and resources in the concourse at Wink Arena, as well as activities and auctions to help raise money for the cause. All proceeds of the event benefit the Big Rapids Spectrum Health Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Facility. 

“The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for heart health and in particular, women’s heart health,” Sports Careers RSO President Sean Williams said. 

Fans attending the games are encouraged to wear red in support of the club’s efforts along with supporting the Ferris teams on the court and ice. 

The event has become something to not only bring attention to heart health but has also given an opportunity to bring students from the club and around the sports communication program closer to those in the Big Rapids community. 

“I think that it’s similar to all philanthropy work. It’s a good way to eliminate that disconnect we have between the students and the Big Rapids community. It’s a good way to give back and create a better sense of community,” Williams said. 

The event has grown bigger each year and has become a staple of the Sports Careers RSO, who also puts on the Special Olympics every year. 

“This event along with our Special Olympics are our two main philanthropies. It’s a lot of work for us. All of us are putting in a lot of time to get donations to try and get more money for the different causes,” Sports Careers RSO vice president Scott Vandersloot said. “I think our RSO does a great job at making sure that it stays local, so people can see what we’re providing to the community. My favorite part is that you’re really able to see the impact up close and personal in the community. We’ve developed a lot of relationships in the community.” 

The Red Out activities will last throughout the home athletic events on Saturday, Feb. 24, beginning with the men’s basketball game at 1 p.m. and going through the hockey game that starts at 7:07 p.m.

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