Sept. 22, 2010
BERKELEY - The American Red Cross will honor the California lacrosse program as an Act of Kindness and Philanthropy Hero on Oct. 7 at the Alameda County Heroes Breakfast, lauding the team for its courage in supporting former teammate Tighe Hutchins when a sudden illness struck her last fall. The breakfast will take place from 8-10 a.m. at the Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel in Oakland, Calif.
"I'm thrilled for our team to get this recognition," Cal head coach Theresa Sherry said. "I think it's neat that their efforts were noticed. The biggest reward we received from this situation is that we were able to support Tighe and her family. The thing we're happiest about is that Tighe is doing so much better now.
"Our whole team has increased awareness about how important it is to give blood. We've always been a team that's been active in the community, but of course this hit close to home. I'm so proud of our girls and of our graduating seniors - this honors the legacy that they left."
Last October, Hutchins became deathly ill and needed a number of surgeries to survive. The medical staff at Alta Bates Hospital did a phenomenal job of saving her life, and her teammates mobilized a giant blood drive for a local Blood Bank in order to help replenish the blood supplies that Hutchins' surgeries were draining. The Golden Bears were able to rally the Cal community, the Bay Area community and communities all over the country through their athletic, religious and personal connections.
Hutchins fought hard, and her teammates fought right with her. Head coach Theresa Sherry was inspired by her players' strength, belief and love for each other as they dealt with this serious situation. These young student-athletes offered comfort to the Hutchins family despite the fact that many of them had never gone through anything like this before. The team became much more than a bunch of individual athletes; it became a unified group of people with the power to save lives and make a positive impact.
Registration for the Alameda County Heroes Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 7. Tickets for the event are available for $30 per person and can be purchased online at www.heroesredcrossbayarea.org or by calling (415) 427-8086. All proceeds from the event support the disaster readiness and relief efforts of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter.
Cal will open its 2011 season in February.