Fordham Student-Athletes Sponsor Inaugural
April 27, 2012
It's not uncommon to see Fordham student-athletes in the Walsh Varsity Training Center, after all, it's where they work out. But it was odd on Thursday night to see so many of them there, representing just about every Fordham sport, from baseball to water polo, as they sponsored the inaugural "Rep for Kids" fundraiser.
The idea behind the weightlifting fundraiser came from head strength and conditioning coach Ted Perlak, who brought it up at a Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) meeting. Football Rams Brendan Melanophy and William DeLuca, who are members of SAAC, picked up on Perlak's idea and Perlak put them in touch with Judge Robert Holdman, FCRH '86, LAW '91.
"When were deciding on a charity we wanted one associated with nine eleven," said DeLuca. "When Coach Perlak heard this he put us in contact with Judge Holdman, who knows New York City better than anyone. When we called, he gave us the story behind the Michael J. Armstrong Foundation and we thought that it was perfect fit for us."
The plans weren't in the works for long as the group had just three weeks to organize the benefit before the end of the semester.
"The shortness of time in which this developed is not only reflective of the kids involved, but of Fordham," said Holdman. "It's a great Fordham story. For them to reach out and do something like this for a Fordham grad they didn't even know and to get it together in so short a time is amazing."
Michael J. Armstrong was a victim in the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11, 2001. The Michael J. Armstrong Foundation awards scholarship grants to Loyola School and Fordham University, both of which Michael was a proud alum. Other beneficiaries include the Child Protection Center at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, the St. Barnabas Hospital Child Advocacy Center, and The New York City Fund for Public Schools, among many other local organizations in New York City. The donation will be tax deductible to the extent of the law.
A further connection to the Michael J. Armstrong Foundation can be found in Holdman, a four-year member of the football squad in his undergraduate days at Fordham, who serves as general counsel for the charitable foundation. He was in attendance at the fundraiser and was joined by Laura Armstrong, sister of Michael.
"This is really tremendous," said Laura Armstrong. "It really moved me to tears when I received the email. It's been over ten years and for them to decide to give the proceeds from this event to the Michael J. Armstrong Foundation when none of them even knew Mike means a lot to us. It's really heartwarming and moving for them to come out and support Mike's foundation."
Student-athletes were asked to go out and collect pledges for each repetition they perform on the Bench Press. The athlete also solicited sponsorships and donations to benefit the charity with a goal of raising $4,000.
The fundraiser was aided by local establishment including Howl at the Moon, Michelangelo's Pizza, Mike Deli, Tino's Deli and Full Moon Pizza, who donated food for the participants.