First Buff and Blue Fund Challenge rakes in $80,000 for athletics

The first-ever Buff and Blue Fund Challenge brought in a total of $80,000 in gifts for the athletic department, according to a release Tuesday.

More than 300 students, parents, coaches and alumni made donations with more than $50,000 of that total coming from individual donors. The challenge ran from January 3 to March 30, and was extended when the gymnastics team won its first-ever East Atlantic Gymnastics League Championship.

Athletics Advisory Board member Gil Cisneros, who graduated in 1994, created the fund and donated $10,000 for every 100 donations made.

Cisneros said he hopes the donations “can be used to help take the athletic programs to the next level,” according to the release.

Athletic director Patrick Nero thanked Cisneros in the release and said the fundraising blitz “saw significant success for the betterment of our student athletes.”

Several groups, including the executive officers of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, the volleyball and softball teams, and head coaches and athletics senior staff, had 100 percent participation in the challenge.

The donations are not restricted to any specific project so the athletics department can choose what to spend it on. In the past, gifts to the Buff and Blue Fund have gone towards locker room renovations, foreigntravel for teams and the creation and naming of the baseball team’s Tucker Field at Barcroft Park.

“In our efforts to field a broad-based athletic department that strives to see all of our teams compete at the top of their respective conferences and make noise at the national level, unrestricted gifts to the department allow for our needs to be met,” Nero said in the release.

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