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Op-Ed: Courage Bowl "More than just a Game"

September 19, 2016

The below editorial was included in the Sunday, September 18 issue of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Fisher President Gerard Rooney and Brockport President Macpherson join Camp Good Days founder Gary Mervis in greeting Courage Bowl attendees.

On Saturday, September 24, the St. John Fisher College Cardinals and The College at Brockport Golden Eagles will once again meet on the football field for a game that is more than just a game.  It’s the 12th annual Courage Bowl to benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, where our players learn more than new plays on the field and they learn it from very special children.

On the sidelines are honorary coaches—campers from Camp Good Days who may never have a chance to play football or any other sport due to treatments and surgeries.  For a few hours, they stand alongside our players offering some of their own courage as well as a taste of their winning spirit.  Both the Fisher and Brockport cheerleaders also welcome more Camp Good Days campers to the field as honorary cheerleaders.  They stand on the shoulders of our students cheering on our teams, all the while carrying the weight of cancer on their own shoulders.

The reality is – everyone at St. John Fisher College and The College at Brockport – are really supporting them.  We’re pulling for them to make it through their struggles with this disease and sending them some of our winning spirit.  There is a special feeling in the air at this game every year – no matter which campus plays host.  The cheering is louder, the athletes play harder, the scoreboard looks brighter, and the sidelines are livelier.

Proceeds raised through ticket sales, team apparel sales, and concessions fund ongoing programs for Camp Good Days campers, throughout the summer months and year-round.  We encourage members of the community to attend this special game, and promise you will leave as winners, too.

The truth is, everyone wins the Courage Bowl.  Our student-athletes, our fans, and most importantly, the children of Camp Good Days.

By Gerard J. Rooney, Ph.D., president, St. John Fisher College, and Heidi Macpherson, Ph.D., president, The College at Brockport