Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Huskies giving back to those in need

UConn freshmen Kiah Stokes and Brianna Banks greet residents impacted by Hurricane Irene as they head into Coventry High School on Thursday night.

When UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma told his oldest daughter Jenna his idea for helping out those impacted by the loss of power after Hurricane Irene, Jenna merely rolled her eyes and after a suitable pause came up with an alternate course of action.

"She said 'people want to eat' and she said 'why don't you throw a pasta dinner?'" Geno Auriemma said. "And she said 'you pay for it. You have enough money.' So we made a couple of phone calls and here we are."

Score a win for Jenna as she was the one who suggested giving out hot meals to those who have been unable to cook since the storm took out so many power lines and left thousands of Connecticut residents without power.

"He wanted to put all of our old clothes together and send it somewhere," Jenna (Auriemma) Stigliano said on Thursday night as she joined her parents and the UConn women's basketball team in cooking and handing out food to storm victims at Coventry High School. "I said why don't we go somewhere where people are closest to where we are. Why don't we do something in Coventry and we could have a pizza thing or something where people could eat."

A steady flow of residents came through the doors at Coventry High on Thursday as pasta meals were being prepared by the Huskies and bottled water was also being handed out.

"They are all excited about it because they are the kind of kids that usually they have a lot of stuff given to them since they don't really want much," Geno Auriemma said. "It is good for them to kind of feel like they are doing something for the people who support them. People make a lot of sacrifices to watch them play so it is good for them."

The players knew they would be helping out those in need but they were a little stunned at the number of those who came out looking for a meal and a chance to mingle with the UConn coaches, players and fellow members of the community.

"This is great," UConn sophomore center Stefanie Dolson said. "Giving back to the community and the whole power outages, the storm and everything, just to be able to give food to everybody, I know we all love it and love helping out.

"It's crazy. There are so many people here. I didn't think it would have affected this many people but did. We are just glad to help and I can't believe how many people are here."

It wasn't lost on the UConn players that many of those who came out Thursday night are the same people who attend the Huskies' home games.

"A lot of people are struggling with no power," UConn sophomore guard Bria Hartley said. "We have a lot of people who come and support us all the time so we are here to support them as well to be here to help them if they need anything."

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