WKU Field Hockey tournament benefits Center for Courageous Kids

Louisville junior Shelby Overstreet laughs with her team during a tournament the team put together as a fundraiser on Sundat at the Intramural Fields. The Event raised around $320 with the proceeds going to the Center for Courageous Kids. 

Kurt Carson

During the Field Hockey Club’s Second Annual Topper Classic, the score didn’t matter.

Rather, players focused on supporting Allen County’s Center for Courageous Kids, an organization that operates solely on donations.

The WKU field hockey club used this weekend’s event to help support the cause by donating the proceeds directly toward the center.

Junior goalie Caisey Whelan began the partnership two years ago after she volunteered at the center and was impressed with the camp.

“This camp for kids is free, a great time and the biggest thing is that they promote normalcy,” Whelan said. “That’s the No. 1 thing that special needs kids want — to be viewed as normal.”

Whelan said she has worked with special needs kids all of her life, coaching baseball teams and teaching rowing programs, and that’s what inspired her to get the partnership started.

She said she came up with the idea of a tournament that donated its proceeds to The Center for Courageous Kids and it caught on quickly with the team.

“We wanted to give all the money to them,” Whelan said. “We want to give back and we want to volunteer. It gets our name out there, helps them and it’s a great cause.”

The WKU field hockey club has used the Topper Classic as their way to support the cause and raised more than $500 last year.

Players baked cookies and parents bought water to raise donations at the classic. The Center for Courageous Kids also sold T-shirts to raise financial support.

“This event has come a long way,” Whelan said. “It looks great now. It means a lot to have people getting on board. This is going to be an event that lasts a long time because I already have someone taking over when I graduate.”

Whelan said freshman center-midfielder Hannah Fife is next in line to annually organize the event. 

“[Center for] Courageous Kids is a great opportunity to give back,” Fife said. “I came here last year and it ran really smooth. I was impressed that the team put it on. I want to be a part of something and be able to put my name behind something.”

Kim O’Connor, the development officer for Center for Courageous Kids, said the event has been amazing because “it’s exactly what the organization needs,” since they run primarily off donations.
“Any little bit helps,” O’Connor said. “Whatever they raise is going to be great. We just appreciate their willingness to work with us and their generosity to put in the effort. They did this all themselves.”
The Center for Courageous Kids runs out of Scottsville and opened in 2008 to serve more than 9,000 children from 30 states and Canada.
“We serve kids and families free of charge, and so we really rely on the community to step in and support us and do their part,” O’Connor said. “I think it says a lot about the sport’s team that they made the decision, contacted us and sought us out to help raise money.”
Whelan said she challenges people to not only donate money, but also to go out to the camp and get to know what it’s all about.
“Go out there, meet these kids, and talk to them because they’re amazing kids,” Whelan said.