Hoosier Golfers Spread Holiday Cheer to Bloomington Community
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - With just under two weeks remaining until Christmas, the Indiana University men's and women's golf teams appeared at College Mall in Bloomington Thursday, raising the spirits of many shoppers by handing out holiday cards.
Holiday shoppers of all ages were met in three different locations in the College Mall by seven members of the women's team and five from the men's team. Over 250 holiday cards were handed out in the time the golfers were present.
Knowing that many shoppers wait until crunch time to purchase all the presents on their list, the Hoosier golfers felt the cards would be a refreshing and nice gesture to offer the community.
Indiana junior Danah Ford notes that it is special when the IU student-athletes get a chance to give back to the community that supports them.
"It was so nice to reach out to the community and just wish them happy holidays today," said Ford. "Many shoppers didn't know what to expect when we approached them, but I think they appreciated the gesture and left with a smile."
Hoosier sophomore Heath Peters echoed Ford's comments.
"I really enjoyed today," said the Garrett, Ind., native sporting his Hoosier varsity letterman's jacket. "Anytime you can get involved in the community is nice."
The cards were colored on the front, sporting an IU logo golf ball as well as a stocking with "Hoosiers" printed on it. A simple message of "Happy Holidays from Indiana University Golf" garnered the front. On the backside of the greeting cards was a message extending the golfers' safe and happy holiday wishes to the patron, along with the names of each golfer on both teams.
The idea surrounding the holiday cards grew after a successful Adopt-A-Family drive, as another way Hoosier student-athletes could give back to the community.
The IU Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which includes golfers from both squads, recently raised over $1100 to purchase gifts and winter clothing, for three families in the area.
Alyse Tankanow, a sophomore on the women's team, was proud to take a break from her final exam studies to spread a little holiday cheer.
"Today was very nice for both teams to come out and participate in handing out cards," she said. "It was a great way to get involved in the community and spread some holiday cheer."
Holiday shopper Vicki Nowling admitted she first thought the gesture was a promotional sale, but was pleased to find out the student-athletes were there in goodwill.
"I was actually stopped by both a guy and a girl from the golf team and they just told me they wanted to wish my family and me a happy holiday," Nowling said. "I think it was neat that student-athletes from other sports like golf came out and did this. It was very thoughtful."
And nearing the peak of IU basketball season, many golfers, including freshman Brad Marek, agree that it was beneficial in getting some patrons to stop and chat about golf.
"I had a lot of fun today, and I think that it was good for both teams to be out here," said Marek, who will be competing with the Hoosiers when they host the Big Ten Championships next May. "Hopefully, we picked up some more interest today, and it will help us build a good fan base for the future."
No matter the sport, Aaron Walters states that representing IU in the community is important to him and his teammates.
"It makes you feel good when you help out in the community," said the Hoosier sophomore.
Giving back to the community means a bit more for Walters, as him and freshman teammate Joe Miller are Bloomington natives.
"I really enjoyed doing this today and representing IU," Walters added. "It makes you feel pretty good inside."
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