Mt. St. Joseph University's visit to Carl W. Burt Memorial Field serves as more than just Manchester University home and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football opener Saturday, Sept. 23.
The 1:30 p.m. kickoff represents the annual Community Day event as Wabash County residents are admitted free. Coach Nate Jensen's program also recognizes the HCAC's partnership with Samaritan's Feet. "The HCAC has a goal of $1,200 raised by each member of the conference (for the initiative)," Jensen noted. "We started working with this great foundation because of (former MSJ head coach) Rod Huber's collaborate with the organization that strives to provide shoes for the world's children. We will collect donations and have a giant box for brand new shoes for children during the game."
Interested individuals who wish to make monetary donations to the organization can do so by visiting https://samaritansfeet.myetap.org/fundraiser/fundraisingpage/individual.do?participationRef=857.0.831148791. The Samaritan's Feet initiative is more than just fundraising and collecting shoes for the conference, too, as each February, all-conference honorees gather in Indianapolis and put the collected shoes on the feet of elementary-school age children whose families can't afford them. "It has been an honor and very humbling experience," he admitted. "To see those kindergarten to second-grade children's faces when they receive their new shoes is truly a wow moment."
There will also be an opportunity to support the American Football Coaches Association's Coach to Cure Muscular Dystrophy during the afternoon. Coach Jensen and his staff will wear shoulder patches on the sidelines to raise awareness, while fans can text the word CURE to 50555 to donate $10.