CLEVELAND, Ohio – Through its recent Military Appreciation Night and surrounding events, the Cleveland State University lacrosse program helped raise $6,616 for the USO of Northern Ohio.
CSU held Military Appreciation Night in conjunction with its April 2 home game against Canisius.
"We are so appreciative of Cleveland State University holding a Military Appreciation Night during the lacrosse game on April 2," Executive Director of USO of Northern Ohio Bruce Bille said. "Many of the CSU staff, players and attendees of the game served in the military or had family who served. It was a pleasure working with the CSU Athletic Department and coaches as they organized this first-class tribute with commemorative jerseys, military static displays and service members of the various branches on site to answer questions. This event supported the USO of Northern Ohio and will help to provide programs and services to those currently serving domestically and abroad. Thank you, CSU!"
The Vikings wore U.S. military-inspired uniforms courtesy of Viking lacrosse apparel partner UN1TUS as part of the April 2 event. These unique game-worn jerseys were subsequently auctioned off with all proceeds benefitting the USO. Through the online auction portal, fans had the option of donating additional funds to the USO if they elected.
The lacrosse program also worked with Cleveland State's Veterans Student Success Program to bring exposure to Viking Veterans during the course of the event. Ariel Hedrich, who served as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, sang the National Anthem before the game while four Viking Veterans competed in a halftime contest with authentic Viking lacrosse apparel provided as prizes.
"The Military Appreciation Game was a unique opportunity for Vikings lacrosse to demonstrate its gratitude for our military service members and their families," head coach Dylan Sheridan said. "Special thanks to UN1TUS for supplying the uniforms. I'd also like to thank the USO and our CSU Athletics staff for doing an amazing job organizing and hosting the event. Lastly, to everybody that bid on a jersey in the auction, THANK YOU! Through your generosity, the event raised $6,616 dollars for the USO, and will undoubtedly go to good use in honor of our troops. Go Vikes!"
A U.S. military recruitment battalion served as a color guard during the National Anthem, and U.S. military branches, along with the USO, had informational tables at the game.
The Vikings were successful on the field as well as they used 13 consecutive goals to cruise to a 19-10 win over Canisius.
The USO of Northern Ohio strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Founded in 1941, USONO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization and relies heavily on the generosity of corporations, civic organizations and communities across northern Ohio to support its programs and services to 50,000 military members and their families.
Cleveland State University enrolls 500+ veterans from United States military branches and received bronze star recognition for being a Military Friendly School in 2017.