Generosity from Augustana's athletes, coaches spread warmth this winter


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Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2013, 9:32 pm
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By John Marx, jmarx@qconline.com
On a blustery morning in late January, Rock Island High School teacher Nicole Regan noticed a number of students lacking proper winter outerwear on her way to work.

The images left an uneasy feeling in the stomach of Regan, who teaches Spanish and English Language Learners at Rock Island.

"Some did not have coats,'' she said of the students she saw walking and waiting for buses. "We have a percentage of students from lower-income homes. Some parents decide between buying the growing student a new winter coat and paying the heating bill."

After reaching school, Regan emailed longtime friend Kathi Fox, the administrative assistant for the Augustana College athletic department.

And the "Hoodie Challenge'' was on.

"She was driving to school and noticed far too many young people without proper jackets for the conditions,'' Fox said of Regan. "She reacted with her heart. I'm glad she did.''

In that email to Fox, Regan challenged the athletic department at Augustana College, requesting old sweatshirts or other cold-weather gear that might be sitting unused in offices and storage rooms in the Carver Center.

The request, and Regan's prayers, were answered in the biggest of ways.

When Regan came to pick up the donations, she loaded 12 huge garbage bags into her van along with a box that took two people to lift. There was an assortment of hoodies, winter coats, pants, gloves and hats along with other items from members of the coaching staff and the student athletes on various teams at Augustana.

Though she knew she sought help in the right place, the outpouring of love and support still caught Regan off balance.

"I didn't expect such an outpouring of generosity," she said. "I was overwhelmed with the amount of clothing collected. When Kathi told me I would need a truck to pick up the items, I thought she was kidding. I am filled right now with excitement, appreciation and gratitude."

Fox knew what Regan found out.

"As always, I am impressed by our student athletes," she said. "They were asked to give something of themselves and the response was overwhelming. And one student athlete made the decision to offer the challenge to her local church. The outpouring of donations from her congregation was tremendous and extraordinary.

"From my first day of work at Augustana, I have been moved by the willingness and drive of our student body to go out of their way to help others in need and less fortunate."

Fox says Regan is asking fellow Rock Island staffers if they know of students needing warm clothing. The students will be invited to come in after school and look through the items. She also is going to tell the students in her classes to keep an eye out for others who are walking or waiting for buses and don't have warm clothing.

"I am, and the other teachers here as well, really are grateful for the generosity shown by the entire athletic department at Augustana," Regan said. "It is great to see such compassion for others in our community."
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309-757-8388 or jmarx@qconline.com.


















 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






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