When University of Bridgeport head women’s basketball coach Stephanie Del Preore came to campus three years ago, she arrived with a blueprint not only to create a winning program, but also with a plan to honor her late father who passed away in 2002 after a courageous battle with liver and kidney disease.
While the basketball part of the equation is an on-going process that takes a great amount of recruiting and hard work in practice, Del Preore’s brainchild to honor her late father continues to reach new heights year after year.
On February 16, 2013, the University of Bridgeport held its third annual “Donate Life” Day when the Purple Knights hosted Queens College in an East Coast Conference basketball doubleheader.
Stated coach Del Preore, “I’m so proud of how things have grown with our “Donate Life” event as we have now raised over $6,400 for Donate Life Connecticut over the last three years. This year things were even bigger and better as we raised $2,700. The community support both on and off campus has been great. In 2002, I lost my father to a battle with liver and kidney disease. In 1996 he received a double liver/kidney transplant which prolonged his life six more years. I was fortunate to have him at every basketball game I played from middle school to high school, and then my freshman and sophomore year at Marist College. Losing him was the worst thing I’ve ever went through, and basketball was my outlet. I always said that when I became a head coach I was going to do something to honor my father, my hero and my inspiration.”
All proceeds from the day (all tickets sales and a variety of raffles) were donated to the Donate Life Connecticut organization to help raise awareness about organ and tissue donations to help save lives.
Raffle prizes, which were drawn at both the women’s and men’s game, included a variety of tickets to sporting events in the tri-state area and New England, a variety of hotel stays throughout the area, gift baskets plus many gift cards to both local and national retailers and restaurants.
University of Bridgeport Director of Athletics Jay Moran praised his head women’s basketball coach saying, “The amount of time and effort that Steph has put into the “Donate Life” Days is truly awesome. When she first came to UB, she told me of her idea to honor her Dad, and I told her let me know how we can help as a department, and with the help of all the members of our UB Athletics family and many other people both on and off campus, the day had grown into something truly special and something we look forward to every season.”
For more information on the Donate Life program and how to register to be an organ and tissue donor, please visit the Donate Life Connecticut website at www.ctorganandtissuedonation.org
Provided by the Bridgeport Sports Information Department.