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Fisher Athletes Launch Fundraiser to Aid Puerto Rico

October 26, 2017

Two members of the St. John Fisher College football team—Colin McGraw ’18 and Alejandro Utset ’19—launched Puerto Rico Will Rise, an initiative to aid students and schools affected by Hurricane Maria.

When McGraw heard Utset, a native of Puerto Rico, talk about what his family was experiencing after the hurricane, he knew he wanted to help and the two players approached Head Coach Paul Vosburgh about doing a fundraiser. Soon after, Dr. Kermin Martínez-Hernández, a professor in the Chemistry Department, sent a campus-wide email promoting a toiletry and supplies drive. The email caught McGraw’s attention, and he reached out for advice on the best ways for the team to proceed with their efforts. Under Martinez-Hernandez’s guidance, McGraw and Utset decided to focus the mission of Puerto Rico Will Rise on providing educational materials to schools impacted by the hurricane. In addition to supplying materials, McGraw and Utset hope to raise enough money to aid in the reconstruction of a school.

The fundraiser will kick off during the team’s final home game against Cortland, scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. Volunteers at the football game will be stationed at tables near the entrances to Growney Stadium, collecting financial donations and educational materials. In addition, McGraw and Utset set up a GoFundMe page to make the fundraiser a long-term initiative.

For the two teammates, lending a hand is as natural as catching a spiral.

“Alejandro and I feel that it is critical for Fisher students to get involved with efforts like this because we have the ability and power to help others in need,” said McGraw. “It is really quite simple: when there is someone in need and you have the ability and power to help them, you do it every time because it’s the right thing to do.”