P.A.W.S. Kick-Off A Huge Success

March 19, 2004

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    Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook's annual Providing Athletes With Support (P.A.W.S.) campaign is now in full swing. Over 250 alumni, friends, and staff braved a mid-March snow storm and attended the annual kickoff celebration that took place at Club 101 on Park Avenue in New York City on March 16, making the Big Apple the backdrop for the beginning of the six-week fund-raising drive.

    Director of Athletics Jim Fiore played host and welcomed many Stony Brook dignitaries including President Shirley Strum Kenny, Stony Brook Council President Rick Nasti and former New York Jet great Marty Lyons. Fiore also introduced the crowd to many of the student-athletes who benefit from the generous support of P.A.W.S. donors.

    "P.A.W.S. is an essential component toward assisting and improving student-athlete welfare, on the field success and the overall student-athlete experience," Fiore said. "It's success is vital towards realizing our core mission of developing young men and women to be leaders in life."

    Fiore outlined the new emphasis on the P.A.W.S. campaign which expands its goals to include not only raising money for scholarships but for areas such as academic services, career resources, computing and recruiting. Formerly just an intense six-week campaign, P.A.W.S. will now be a 12-month plan of reaching the department's fund-raising goals that will revolve around a monthly P.A.W.S. event.

    "Fund-raising is extremely vital to the success of any athletic department and we want our supporters, staff, friends and alumni to participate in the process with us throughout the entire year," said Fiore. "We feel that year-long involvement will maximize our efforts and galvanize our supporters in what we foresee as a bright and exciting future for Stony Brook."

    President Kenny also addressed the crowd, thanking them for their continued support of Stony Brook and its athletic program. Nasti, who was instrumental in making Club 101 the site of this year's event, was presented with a framed Stony Brook baseball jersey on behalf of Stony Brook athletics.

    The event was the most well-attended kickoff celebration since the inception of the P.A.W.S. campaign in 1998 and can be attributed in some part to the energy and excitement that hosting an event in New York City provides. "This is just the first of what we hope will be many Stony Brook gatherings to be held in and around the New York City area," explained Fiore. "With so many of our supporters living and working in the city, it is a great place to host first class events to celebrate a first class university."

    If you are interested in more information about P.A.W.S. or would like to make a contribution, please contact Bill Kuzmack, Coordinator of Annual Giving, at 631-632-7265, drop him an email at wkuzmack@notes.cc.sunysb.edu, or visit us online at www.goseawolves.org.