Students, faculty, former student-athletes, and members of the community will walk to raise money for women’s athletics at Northern Kentucky University.
On April 16, the 21st Annual Walk for NKU Women’s Athletics will take place on campus. The walk will begin and end at Regents Hall. All proceeds from the event are used to fund and support scholarships for NKU’s female student-athletes.
One goal is also to get members of the community more involved in supporting the Norse women’s teams.
“The more people that are involved, the better it is for NKU,” said Karen Zerhusen Kruer, executive director of the NKU Foundation and first-time team captain. “It is important for NKU to be engaged in the community and involve community leaders.”
There will be 30 teams in this year’s event. Walkers take pledges to raise money, and most of the walkers also make personal donations. There will also be a flower and plant sale as part of the event and a silent auction with items up for bid, including gift certificates from businesses around the area.
Many of the walkers are past student-athletes while several of the current student-athletes help with the event.
Former Athletic Director Jane Meier and current women’s basketball head coach Nancy Winstel have participated in every one of the walks since 1990.
Faculty also gets involved in the event. Tracey Sigler, a management professor, has participated in the event since her first year at NKU in 2002, and started organizing a team as a captain a few years later. Sigler started being a part of the walk, as she was impressed by the female athletes in her classes.
“I wanted to support them by raising money for scholarships for women’s athletic programs,” Sigler said. “I found that I had a lot of fun walking with other colleagues on campus and celebrating our athletic teams.”
Current students are also very involved in the walk, as well. For the second year, the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha will have a team led by its captain, Kevin Ward. Ward has participated in the event since his freshman year in high school.
With NKU making a push toward Division I, Ward sees the walk as a way to help this potential transition.
“It is another good way for the fraternity to give back to the university,” Ward said. “The more money we put in the athletic department, the more likely a move to D-I will happen.”
However, the Norse Athletic Club wants to see an increase in student involvement, according to club assistant Lu Anne Craig.
“We would like more students to be involved,” Craig said. “It is a way for them to help out.”
Story by John Minor