Led by seniors Austin Buit and Jake Nardone, the Carnegie Mellon football team is dedicating itself to raising funds for breast cancer research. In honor of Cindy Lackner, the wife of head football coach Rich Lackner, the Tartans have announced that this weekend's Homecoming Game will be the "Cindy Lackner Memorial Football Game."
"Breast cancer affects everyone. It's hard not to know someone who has passed from breast cancer or is a survivor," Buit said. "Mrs. Lackner touched all of us on the team and we felt that this game would be a great way to honor her and also help create some good from a sad situation."
Throughout the week, members of the Carnegie Mellon Football Team will raise awareness on campus regarding breast cancer research and collect donations targeted for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). Because the funds will be directed toward breast cancer research, they will qualify for a matching grant program.
Cindy Lackner passed away in August after a courageous battle with breast cancer. This season, Carnegie Mellon football players are wearing pink ribbons on their helmets with Cindy's initials on them. At Saturday's game against Denison, members of the Carnegie Mellon women's volleyball team will accept contributions at the gate and coordinate a raffle to raise funds in Cindy's memory. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.
"This is a rare opportunity for us as a team to give back not only to Coach Lackner but also to our community. Cindy left a lasting impression on the entire team over the years in so many ways. She always had a kind word after a tough loss and you definitely could never find her without a smile," Nardone said. "This memorial game is our way of honoring her memory and also helping others who face similar struggles that she faced by raising money for breast cancer research. I know that we'll have great support over homecoming weekend for the event."
On October 13 and 14, the volleyball program will continue the fundraising initiative for breast cancer research as part of the UAA Round Robin hosted at Carnegie Mellon. Members of the football team will help coordinate fundraising efforts as part of the Dig Pink event. Contributions will also go toward the UPCI matching initiative.
If you would like to make a contribution, please visit the UPCI website to make a gift online and check the FFANY/FFCF Matching Challenge for Breast Cancer Research box, through the mail or via telephone. All checks and gifts should reference the "Cindy Lackner Memorial Football Game" in the memo.