This guest post is written by Caroline Potolicchio, a member of the Women’s Hockey Team at Colgate University. The team is involved with Autism Speaks U, an initiative of Autism Speaks that is designed to support college students, faculty and staff in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts.
With the Autism Awareness game quickly approaching, I have found myself doing a lot of reflection on our team’s work and efforts over the past four years. My freshman year marked the first time that we took on the project when former head coach, Scott Wiley, came to us with the set agenda. I remember how excited I was to be a part of a project that was going to set a precedent for other sports teams across the nation. Beating RPI on our home ice in front of 1,000 fans was a moment that I will never forget.
My sophomore year was a special year because my good friend, Christian Mast, a now 13 year-old boy on the spectrum, designed the impressive jerseys we wore that year! Last year we took to the snowy streets of Hamilton with The Raiders and our brand new autism jerseys in order to raise awareness and promote our game. Our “Honk for Autism” signs did not go unnoticed as every car that passed gave us a warm smile and honk for support. This year, we all have been taking shifts sitting at a table in the COOP and Frank dining halls where we have been selling t-shirts, tank tops, and snap back hats in an effort to raise money for this special cause.
We have successfully raised over $37,000 in the past three years for Autism Speaks through donation pages, raffle tickets, tabling on campus, silent auctions, and generous donations from family and friends. We are so thankful for all of the help that we have received every year and that so many people have gotten involved with our initiative. I have enjoyed every single minute of our Autism Awareness project and it is hard to fathom that this is my last year being a part of it all.
I hope that you can join the fun this Friday, January 31 at 7 p.m when we take on Brown in a big ECAC matchup. If you wear blue you gain free admission. A silent auction, raffle, chuck –a-puck and Greek Challenge will also be taking place! Don’t miss out on the event of the weekend and a guaranteed good time!
Be LOUD and be proud to come support our team!