(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - For the second year running, the Carnegie Mellon University football program partnered with the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to create a 2018 calendar and presented the funds raised to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation on Friday, March 2.
In August, Tartan football players welcomed six children, who receive treatment from Children's, to campus for a photoshoot with the team and Scotty, the Tartans mascot.
"I remember how everything just came together on the day of the photoshoot," said organizer and 2017 team captain Stanley Bikulege. "The kids were very brave and patient, while their parents were helpful as well. It was awesome to see everyone having fun - including the children, athletes, coaches, and even the photographers."
On Friday, Bikulege and head coach Rich Lackner had the pleasure of presenting the foundation with a check for $3,027.00, which included the sale of the calendars along with general donations to the effort from friends of the football program.
"My coaches and I take great pride in our player's accomplishments on the football field, in the classroom, and in our community," said Lackner. "I know the team enjoys this fundraiser and interacting with the children who are able to participate. I can't say enough about Stanley and how he epitomizes what it means to be a CMU TARTAN. His leadership as one of our captains, his incredible academic accomplishments, and his dedication to raising funds for our friends at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital make him a great role model and example for our younger players."
However, Bikulege has been quick to redirect the attention.
"We were all very blessed to see how these kids tackle (pun intended) every day with a smile on their face, regardless the circumstances," added Bikulege. "Additionally, seeing the way those kids look up to every one of us players speaks volumes to the impact we can have on all of them. I'm looking forward to ordering next year's calendar."