September 21, 2017
Over the past weekend, the student fan section, “Ryken’s Rowdies” held drives for hurricane relief at three major athletic events. They held a collection for used clothing, accepted donations and sold fan shirts, the proceeds of which were donated to a hurricane relief organization.
Ryken Rowdy Senior Sarah DeMoss said, ““The effort from Ryken’s Rowdies Leadership Group involved 25 people who helped coordinate, sell shirts, post flyers and collect donations.”
Athletics Communication Assistant Rusty Lindsey helped kickstart and oversee the drive after he got the idea from watching an ESPN segment. “I was watching SportsCenter,” Lindsey said, “and had seen what Kelvin Sampson had put together at the University of Houston, where he put a challenge out to coaches to send whatever they have from their program.”
“We have partnered with student groups at colleges in the affected area like Coog Crew at the University of Houston to get contact information for where these items need to be sent,” DeMoss said. “All school supplies will be sent to Beamont, Texas. The Rowdies will take care of any shipping details and funds needed.”
Lindsey said that merely seeing the level of suffering in Houston compelled him to take action to help the people in need after Hurricane Harvey destroyed many homes, churches and buildings all across the city.
“Talking to my friends down there and seeing the pictures, it’s just overwhelming,” Lindsey said. “We’re blessed enough to not have to worry about those kind of things up here. And to just see a number of people who had so much of their life just washed away, it’s the least we can do to clean out our closets, and whatever else we can spare to give.”
Through their efforts at the three games, “Ryken’s Rowdies” managed to raise approximately $900 and collected several boxes of clothing. A Record staff member counted 11 trash bags of collected donations at the Wheaton men’s soccer game on Saturday, Sept. 16.
“We did not have any specific goals,” DeMoss said. “We were just trusting that people’s generosity would provide…we are deeply grateful to the fan bases at Luther College and Carthage College for their generosity in joining this effort. Thank you also to the Wheaton student body. The funds raised from our shirt sales and donations far exceeded our expectations.”