Monday, November 26, 2007

I hear voices.

Sports fans know voices – Harry Carey, Jack Buck, Al Michaels, John Madden (or is it Frank Caliendo?) – we can immediately recognize those voices. For fans of amateur wrestling it’s not quite the same. You know the voices, but you may not know the names – Ed Winger, Doug Brown, Ed Aliverti … and Sandy Stevens.

You may not know Sandy’s name and you may not know what she looks like, but if you’re a wrestling fan – you know her voice. I’ll let Sandy’s National Wrestling Hall of Fame biography tell the story.

One characteristic of her work is her neutrality. Regardless of who’s on the mat or the school they’re from – she gives each competitor his/her due.

Sandy is involved in wrestling in other ways – you can find her articles on intermat and in the pages of W.I.N. Magazine. She is also a proud alumnus of the University of Northern Iowa and wants you all to know about the second annual Pledges for Pins campaign to support Panther wrestling.

“November 1, 2007

Dear Friends of Panther Wrestling,

Fall means the UNI wrestling season is underway, but it also means its “fall-athon” time: time for our second “Pledges for Pins” drive. But first let’s look at what is being accomplished with pledges for last year’s team total of 48 pins that brought in nearly $25,000.
· A complete makeover of both sides of the West gym’s north hallway, including action shots of all UNI national champions. (View the plans at; click on “Artwork,” then enter “wrestling” as the “magic word.”)
· Coach Brad Penrith’s former office now serves as a wrestlers’ study and video room and contains a desk for assistant Tolly Thompson. The room’s new doors now open into the assistant coaches’ office.
· A former athletic trainer’s room is being updated for the first time in about 30 years to become Brad’s office.
· Exposed plumbing was covered in a tiny custodial office now used for wrestling supplies.
Why is a Pledges for Pins drive necessary? Panther wrestlers compete in the first-rate McLeod center but sorely lack updated facilities in the West gym, which remains their home. This site pales in comparison to that of nearly every other Division I university, a definite recruiting disadvantage for the Panthers.
In recent years, rising costs and lower state funds have combined to severely limit help from the university itself, so those of us as who care about returning the UNI program to its stature as one of the top in the nation are lending our support.
Any pledge amount, from $1 up, is welcome. Donors may specify a maximum number of pins for their contribution; for example, $20 for a maximum 50 pins ($1,000). Outright donations are also welcome, but PLEASE specify to the UNI Foundation that these are for the Pledges for Pins project. Contributors will be sent a statement at the end of the season, and all contributions are tax-deductible.
Pledges and donations should be sent, via the enclosed card, to Pledges for Pins, UNI Foundation Accounting, 1221 W. 23rd St, Cedar Falls, IA 50614 -0239.
Last year, Panther wrestlers built an elementary school playground, moved a hospital daycare center’s playground equipment, donated money for Christmas gifts for a classroom of low-income children (and sang them carols), read to children at area schools, and served as Safe Date escorts during Homecoming Week. And they did all this while posting the fifth-highest GPA in the nation, behind Duke, Stanford, Brown and Princeton! Now we can show them our spirit and concern.


Sandy Stevens

P.S. All UNI meets will be carried on KWAY radio this season, and Coach Penrith will appear on 99.3 FM radio every Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome at Booster Club meetings held the first Wednesday of every month at Stratton’s, 405 Main, Cedar Falls.”

I’m in – are you? Since we’re not including the pledge card, send a note making your pledge and specifying that it is for Pledges for Pins.

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