The Wesleyan softball team has recently been busy turning community service into a prime activity of a truly generous and loving nature. In the month of November, 2012, the softball team has "adopted" a young lady residing in Cromwell, Conn. and donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
Joining the Wesleyan softball team through the Team IMPACT program is 13-year-old Stephanie Lubogo (seated in middle of photo with younger sister Emily to her left). Team IMPACT matches local youngsters suffering from a variety of maladies with college athletic teams to boost their confidence and sense of belonging. Stephanie was born with an illness called Prader Willi syndrome, which is a complex chromosomal disorder that effects the hypothalamus in a person's brain leading to insatiable hunger. In addition to her Prader Willi, Stephanie also was diagnosed with juvenile scoliosis at the age of two and by three-year-old had almost a 90 degree curve in her spine. In order to combat the effects of her scoliosis, Stephanie had to have a spinal fusion at the age of 10 where they fused the bones in her spine from her neck down to her tailbone. As a result of that surgery, Stephanie missed close to two months of school and still must have one or two surgeries a year. Stephanie truly understands what it means to persevere and will use the support of her softball teammates to continue overcoming challenges that come her way! Her favorite number is 17 and she loves the TV shows Full House, Everybody Loves Raymond and Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. She is a big fan of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, with "Jesus Take the Wheel" and "A Moment Like This" as two of her favorite songs. She participates in Girl Scouts and also likes to read, sing, the color pink and collects books, stickers and movies.
"We are excited to have Stephanie be a part of our team," said Wesleyan Softball Head Coach Jen Lane. "She is a sweet and caring girl with whom our players felt an instant connection. I think both the team and Stephanie will benefit from being in each other's lives."
In addition to this heartfelt gesture, Wesleyan softball donated the entire proceeds of its 50/50 raffle during the Wesleyan vs. Trinity football game Sat., Nov. 10 to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief fund. The Cardinals sold $320 worth of tickets, so their $160 was earmarked for the Red Cross. The winning raffle ticket also found its way to donating the funds to the Red Cross, upping to level of the support to $320. "After Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, we decided to donate the proceeds of the 50/50 raffle from the Wesleyan/Trinity football game to the Red Cross for the hurricane relief efforts," Coach Lane explained. "Seeing how much devastation there was from the storm, we wanted to do something to help. We actually did the same thing during the fall of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I think everyone on the team knows someone affected by the storm and while the $320 we donated is not that much, we hope it can offer some help to those in need."