Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Funds for Newtown scholarship rolling in

A couple of days ago UConn put out there that more than 300 people have donated to the scholarship fund the university started in honor of the victims and families from the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Since the scholarship was started and the first donation was made by UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his wife Kathy, my plan was to catch up with either Geno or Kathy while I am out in Pac-12 territory covering today's Stanford game and Monday's contest at Oregon. I was able to sit down with Kathy Auriemma for a few minutes about the scholarship fund.

Kathy said the donations recently surpassed the $600,000 mark and is still growing which naturally pleases the Auriemmas.

"When Geno and I first talked about this, one of the things I don;'t know whether he said it to me or I said it to him, it can't just be us doing something let's do something we bring everybody along with us to give us people an opportunity to give as well," Kathy Auriemma said. "We are like team people, we don't do anything without others and I have had so many people thank us because we gave them a chance to make them feel like they are a part of it, that they are helping and that is the gratifying part.

"I think what helps is two fold, we wanted to make sure we were giving enough to give the first scholarship and I think when Geno came on and his (public service announcement) you can give a small amount, a large amount, a medium amount and it got people thinking. I don't know what makes up the $600,00 we have now but I would guess that it is a combination of all of those things. That is the best part. My kids, all Christmas Day they (texted) 50555 to give 10 dollars and they will continue to do something as well. There are a lot of good people in the world and they get it."

The tragedy obviously hit home with the Auriemmas who raised two daughters and a son and are now grandchildren but the fact that the shooting took place on Dec. 14 which is also Kathy Auriemma's birthday left both Kathy and Geno conflicted when it came time to celebrate her birthday.

"Anytime children are involved it is tragic and on the extra little personal element, Dec. 14 is my birthday so it was 'oh my gosh,'" Kathy Auriemma said "We as a family, He had put together this surprise (dinner), we were supposed to meet for dinner and there were a couple of extra friends at the restaurant and I didn't even want to go, it was hard to be happy but them it was good to be together. It is frightening, you cant really protect yourself against it. That is how you feel, you feel helpless."



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