BOULDER - On Saturday, the University of Colorado Athletic Department and CU student-athletes hosted approximately 800 Boulder flood victims at Folsom Field. The event, which took place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the stadium’s Club Level, provided evacuees with a meal and a chance to visit with athletes, coaches and administrators.
“Our student-athletes and the athletic department really care about this community,” said Colorado Athletic Director Rick George. “This event is a way to help them through all the devastation they’ve dealt with over the past several days.”
A majority of attendees were residents of CU’s family housing, who were evacuated on Wednesday evening due to complex’s proximity to Boulder Creek.
“This means a lot,” said Sarah Stith, a resident manager at CU’s Smiley Court Apartments who attended the event with her husband and two young children. Smiley Court, located on the corner of 30th Street and Colorado Avenue, sits directly next to Boulder Creek. The complex is one of several on the CU-Boulder campus that houses a variety of graduate students with families, committed couples, and single parents.
“It’s been a hard time. It’s nice to know that this community is here and that everyone is coming together. Tragedies like this can make you feel really separated from the rest of the world and it’s things like this that just make you realize what a great community we have,” Stith said.
Student-Athletes from football, men and women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse and women’s volleyball spent the afternoon serving food, cleaning tables, and entertaining the children in attendance by signing autographs and taking photos.
“Our team has been doing everything we can to help out the community of Boulder,” said CU basketball guard and Boulder native Beau Gamble. “It’s great to see the other student-athletes out helping too and doing whatever they can, whether it’s helping people move out of flooded basements or digging out cars, or whatever else needs to be done. Today, half of the team is over at the Center for Community helping out since they are low-staffed and the rest of us are here at Folsom greeting evacuees from CU’s family housing.”
Colorado’s football team, which was slated to take on Fresno State in Boulder on Saturday, spent the day much differently than anticipated after the game was postponed.†† However, for the players and CU’s coaching staff, being able to give back to the overwhelmed Boulder community was just as rewarding.
“A lot of the people here today are dealing with a really hard situation,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “They aren’t going to be able to get into their apartments or homes for a while. For us to be able to do this is a great thing. We had all of this food ready for the game and to be able to use it now to help the community and show them that we care, that’s great. “
Several student-athletes helping at the event were also displaced during the widespread flooding, including wide receiver D.D. Goodson.
“Personally, I was affected Thursday night when the basement that I live in was flooded,” said Goodson. “The water in my room was about waist high. I lost my sofa, my television and some of my shoes and other necessities. It’s nice to help these evacuees because I know what they are going through.”
For the student-athletes that work endlessly to improve their performance on the field, serving the community in a time of need was one way to remind them that their performance off the field is just as important.
“Today has been a huge opportunity for us to give back to the community,” said quarterback Connor Wood. “We need to be more than football players and more than student-athletes. Coach MacIntyre wants us to be great men, responsible men, and selfless men. This is one way that we can learn that lesson.”