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Athletic Training staff to host ‘White Out for CF’ on Saturday

This is the ninth straight year that the Athletic Training staff will host a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis awareness, but their first year hosting a 'white out.' (Northern Review photo/ Grant Pepper)

On Saturday, the ONU Athletic Training staff will attempt to fill King Horn Sports Center in an effort to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis.

They will be hosting their ‘White Out for CF’ fundraiser in conjunction with the home men’s basketball game, a 2 p.m. tilt vs. Capital. The staff will be giving out free, white event t-shirts beginning at 1 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis. They will also be raffling off tickets for VIP seating with complimentary pizza and pop during the game, as well as other table items such as Kindles, ONU gear and more. Children’s games will also be featured at the event, and free will donations are encouraged.

All proceeds from Saturday’s fundraiser will go towards cystic fibrosis research.

“We want to portray this as a family type of atmosphere and to bring kids so that they can participate in games, donate to a great cause, and enjoy some good, OAC basketball,” head athletic trainer Kurt Wilson said. “We just hope that everybody can pack that gym on Saturday, for whatever reason it may be.”

Saturday's white out takes the place of the 'Run for Roses,' which the Athletic Training staff held during the spring for the past eight years. Over that time, they have raised over $48 thousand for cystic fibrosis research, according to Wilson.

Wilson came up with the idea for the fundraiser nine years ago to honor Angela and Kim Badertscher, who were both graduates of ONU’s Human Performance and Sports Sciences program. Both Angela and Kim were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 2008, and Angela passed away that year. Kim, a former athletic trainer at ONU, has fought the effects of the disease, which is genetic and causes persistent lung infections while limiting one’s ability to breathe over time. Although Kim regularly attended and participated in the previous 5ks, she will not be able to attend Saturday’s fundraiser because of health concerns.

Wilson said that the cause of raising cystic fibrosis awareness is “near and dear” to the ONU Athletic Training family.

The staff decided to change up the format of the fundraiser this year from a 5k to a white out in order to “re-energize” the event, according to Wilson.

“We put it in conjunction with men’s basketball vs. Capital, a good, local rivalry where we thought we could get a lot of people here,” Wilson said. “And to be honest with you, I think any time you throw the term ‘free t-shirt’ out, a lot of people are going to flock to that.”

Saturday’s matchup on the hardwood will feature two teams close in the OAC standings -- Northern is just two games ahead of Capital for fourth place in the conference, and the Polar Bears are just one game back from second place.

While Wilson says that his staff does not have any financial goals for this year’s fundraiser, he does hope that the gym will be packed -- for multiple reasons.

“If we can pack that gym -- the way OAC basketball should be treated within the league -- and people come with a spirit of wanting to give, then I think that everything is going to take care of itself,” Wilson said. “And I would want nothing less than to see that gym packed with white t-shirts and black and orange and all that stuff on that day, and people willing to contribute to a great cause.”