As a way to remind everyone that sports are more than a game, the Sports Career registered student organization’s (RSO) annual Red Out fundraiser for heart health starts Saturday, Feb. 9, the biggest home game day of the year.
“I had run across some promotional material in January about the American Heart Health and Go Red for Women campaign. I threw it at the team, and they were all for it,” Ferris sports communication professor Sandra Alspach said. “The idea is that everybody wears red that day and the teams wear red that day, and we use that as a branding image to raise funds for heart health.”
The fourth annual Red Out Fundraiser will take place at Wink Arena throughout the Ferris men’s and women’s basketball games against Wayne State University 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, and men’s hockey will play against Bemidji State University (Minnesota) 7:07 p.m.
The sports communication program works together with the Sports Career RSO to put on the Red Out fundraiser each year. The basis for the fundraiser is heart health awareness, as February is known as American Heart Month.
“I guess essentially it’s just to raise awareness for the women in the area who have heart health issues,” Ferris sports communications junior and student chairman of the event Jared Ozella said. “All of the people are community members, people in the area who have those heart problems and those are the people who we are trying to help.
“I guess the biggest thing is that it’s really expensive to treat these problems and we want to at least give them something that will help. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but anything we can do to help, such as raising as much money possible and letting people in the area know it’s for community members is a success.”
The first way the students raise money is through donations from community members and other students.
There will also be raffling of many items, thanks to sponsors like Panera Bread and Biggby Coffee. The raffles will be a silent auction and will be bid on throughout the day. Included in the auction are items such as Biggby gift baskets, signed basketballs, footballs and hockey sticks. There are even a bed and breakfast experience and tickets to a Harlem Globetrotters game being given away.
During the basketball games, there will also be an event during timeouts called the “Miracle Minute.” This is a mini event where the students running the fundraiser will walk up and down the aisles with the goal of collecting the most donations possible in a minute.
“We’ll get a total amount by the hockey game and then we will present all the money raised during the hockey game,” Ferris sports communications student and member of the Sports Career RSO Savanna Stout said. “It’s an all-day event, and it just happens in the concourse. People coming and going and in between games at Wink Arena will get the chance to donate.”
There is more to the event than the money aspect, however, as there is also information being passed around with ways to keep your own heart healthy. That includes info in terms of food that can keep your heart healthy, as well as heart screenings for anyone who wants them.
According to Alspach, the event raised just under $670 last year. The total for the 2019 Red Out will be announced during the 7:07 p.m. Ferris men’s hockey game against Bemidji State.