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The Northerner

Women’s Walk held over weekend

Kevin Erpenbeck, Staff writer

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Several students, faculty, alumni and community members participated in the Northern Kentucky University 22nd Annual Walk for Women’s Athletics on April 14 in the midst of both rain and shine. The walk is held every year to raise money to support scholarships for NKU female student athletes.

Participants were asked to raise pledges for the event and present them at the start of the walk. A silent auction and raffle were also held to raise additional money. The NKU Women’s Walk has raised over $620,000 for female student athlete scholarships over the history of the event. A final financial result for this year’s event will not be determined until May 1.

Peggy Casey, the 2012 chair for the event, said that fundraising activities like this are vastly important for the student athletic program.

“When I was playing here, a lot of us didn’t have full-ride scholarships,” Casey said. “I had a partial scholarship, and you were lucky to even get that additional funding. Having this support for women’s athletics is so important in this time.”

Casey hopes that with the transition into Division I athletics next year, future NKU Women’s Walk events will be able to receive more sponsorships than before, so that even more money can be raised for women’s athletic scholarships.

“Being a Division I school will bring a lot more focus and attention to NKU athletics,” Casey said. “That alone should be bring an even bigger crowd to this event, and hopefully a lot more sponsors will join in.”

President James Votruba, who has participated in 15 NKU Women’s Walk events, said that women’s athletics has “really come of age” over the past two decades.

“You can see how important women’s athletics has become on our campus, especially with our two national championships in women’s basketball,” Votruba said.

Votruba went on to credit that high recognition of women’s athletics on campus to one specific person.
“Head coach Nancy Winstel represents the very best of what intercollegiate athletics is all about,” Votruba said. “She was a pioneer in women’s athletics. She persevered and led this university through the rough early years. Everyone who is in NKU women’s athletics really owes her a debt of gratitude.”

Winstel, who retired from coaching NKU women’s basketball at the end of this season, said that she has made many fond memories and friends at the NKU Women’s Walk, which she has participated in every year since 1990, when she and former athletic director Jane Meier created the event.

“It’s as much of a fundraiser as a “friend”raiser,” Winstel said. “We’ve made so many friends over the years with this event. It’s a great way to keep in touch with a lot of friends and a lot of alumni that have gone through here. That’s what really makes the event so special.”

Winstel credited the success of the event to the alumni that came back to help out and raised money themselves.
“The alumni really steps up when they come back and help out,” Winstel said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have great alumni here that want to give back, whether it be financially or with their presence. Hopefully we’ll continue to have great alumni in the future to come.”

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Women’s Walk held over weekend