FightingIllini.com

The Official Home of University of Illinois Athletics

    Athletics News

    UI Student-Athletes Spread Christmas Cheer

    Dec. 20, 2002

    Freshman tennis player Pavlina Akritas with Victoria

    Junior softball player Sarah Baumgartner with Haylie

    Sophomore volleyball player Lauren Harks with Zac

    Michelle Curry from Big Brothers/Big Sisters celebrates, along with sophomore tennis player Leila Cehajic and headless tennis player Michelle Webb, who conceived the event.

    Senior track athlete Cecelia Dietzen (left) with Miranda and freshman tennis player Brianna Knue.

    Junior volleyball player Shelly O'Bryan and junior football player Winston Taylor help the children celebrate.

    It was party time Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Irwin Academic Center on the UI campus as more than 40 Fighting Illini student-athletes and 30 young people, ages 5-14, and their parents, enjoyed Brunch with Santa. The event was the brainchild of senior tennis player Michelle Webb. It was was a tremendous success, thanks to the cookie-making and present-wrapping efforts of the women's tennis team, the gift-giving and time spent with the children by athletes from 15 Illinois athletic teams, and the guidance of academic advisor Kathy Kaler. Kudos also go to Michelle Curry of Big Brothers/Big Sisters (a United Way agency) for all of her hard work.

    Activities included making Christmas ornaments and cards for parents and friends, decorating sugar cookies, eating plenty of food, sitting on Santa's lap for photos, opening presents and receiving Illinois sport posters.

    Some of the children had been on a waiting list for two years for a Big Brother or Big Sister, and received perhaps the most enduring gifts, Illini student-athlete mentors. Several responded to the need on the spot.

    Contact

    University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

    Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building
    1700 S. Fourth Street, Champaign, IL 61820
    217-333-3630 | E-Mail Us