Lacrosse team supports troops

By Carolyn Williams

Writer

A Bison Never Forgets (BNF) is a studentorganized charity group, started by lacrosse team members Ryan Klipstein ’11 and John Collett ’11. This organization sends care packages to former Army and Navy lacrosse players who are now on active duty.

“John came to me one day and felt like there was something that should be done to honor the troops that now put their lives in harm’s way for us,” Klipstein said. “Being part of the Patriot League, we have a special understanding of what types of people go to Army and Navy Universities and play sports.”

Klipstein and Collett decided to collect donations at home games to make the care packages.

In the past year the organization has already made great strides. The men’s and women’s soccer teams have also joined BNF, and the three teams together have collected over $2,500 and sent over 23 care packages to former athletes now defending their country.

We hope to work with women’s basketball this winter and eventually with all sports at the university,” Klipstein said.

A more long-term goal for the group is to include all the sports teams in the Patriot League. As the schools in the Patriot League have different mascots, the name of the charity group would differ at each school.  So at Lafayette, the group might be called “A Leopard Never Forgets,” but the idea would be the same.

“This will take some time to accomplish but I am confident [that it will happen eventually],” Klipstein said.

The team takes the time to assemble the packages according to request.

“Some of these [requests] can be a little odd actually. A lot of the guys like the socks and sunscreentype stuff (jerky, nuts, grain bars, deodorant, magazines etc). We also like to pick up items that are a little less conventional. Wiffle ball bats and balls, board games and crosswords … we get a good response from this,” Klipstein said.

BNF has garnered a large response from grateful Army and Navy alums.

“A bunch of very appreciative e-mails and Facebook messages have been sent to us. Some of the guys reflect back on the great times they had playing Bucknell,” Klipstein said.

Klipstein and Collett have formed a Bison Never Forgets committee made up of representatives from the lacrosse and soccer teams. After this spring’s graduation Dylan Burke ’13 and Evan Bozymski ’14 will take over the lacrosse team’s participation in the group. Jules Harris ’11 heads the women’s soccer BNF, and Ryan Sappington ’12 and Luke Joyner ’12 are in charge of BNF’s men’s soccer division. Former lacrosse player Mike Clenshaw runs the Bison Never Forgets Facebook page. Despite this new leadership, Klipstein said “[I am sure] that John and I will always have a hand in the program.”

Over family weekend the men’s and women’s soccer games collected over $1,000.

“I think it’s really great of the sports teams to support their fellow athletes,” Emily Conners ’14 said.

Students can contribute to BNF by mailing checks and cash to Bucknell University, mailbox 3017. Checks can be made out to cash or “Bison Team Camp.” Spectators can also contribute at almost every men’s and women’s soccer game.

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