Being a Life Member of the UF Alumni Association, I’m always attracted to news in the Florida Gator Alumni magazine. Although I graduated from the University of Florida more than 60 years ago, I want to stay in touch by all means possible. One of those avenues for staying in touch is reading everything that reaches my mail box having to do with the University of Florida . I especially enjoy reading about the Gator Clubs and the amazing programs they have in place. Whether it be volunteering for a myriad of worthy causes or helping financially burdened students with scholarship programs, Gator Clubs are ready to step forward to do their part. Being from the Boston area, I’m well informed about what’s going on with the New England Gator Club. In the early days of the New England Gator Club, I would fight the traffic and horrible parking conditions to go to a downtown pub in Boston to watch the Gator football games. I always found it interesting and fun to converse with much younger alumni about the olden-days at UF – I felt more like a father figure than a fellow alumnus. Those thoughts of the good-old-days got me thinking about the inspiring things the Gator Clubs do for others, and I wondered if they would be willing to help me with my Crisafi Challenge Scholarship program.
However, when I speak to others about Gator Clubs helping me with my scholarship program, the usually response is, and I paraphrase; “why should they help you, Dr. Bob, with the Crisafi Challenge, when they have their own programs to support.” Fair enough, but what about the fact that our alumni constitutes a Gator Nation. If, indeed, we make up a Nation, don’t we as Gators reach out beyond our own programs to help other worthy causes? That’s the question that dwells in my mind, and that is the purpose of this blog.
I thought to myself, what a powerful and empowering story could be written about the Gator Clubs coming together to help the Crisafi Challenge, a program unrelated to their own programs…a scholarship program for pharmacy students. If each of the 100 Gator Clubs donated as little as $100 to the Crisafi Challenge, that would equate to $10,000, which in turn could subsidize one of many generous scholarships for well deserving students.
Here is my dilemma! My expertise is science not marketing. I would be so humbled and indebted to any Gator Club member or group who could help me with an innovative appeal, which I call Gators Helping Gators. Once again, I know I’m thinking out-of-the-box, but I strongly believe that if Gator Clubs from across the country were to unselfishly donate, even $25.00, to the “Crisafi Challenge” in 2017, those donations would be publicized to UF alumni, from around the country, as a sign that Gators Helping Gators with worthy causes, such as Scholarship programs, is not a myth, but is instead a true indication that Gators from all over the USA truly make up a Nation of wonderful, caring Florida alumni. Every Gator Club will have the opportunity to submit a testimonial about why it has donated to the Crisafi Challenge. These testimonials will exhibit solidarity among the many Gator Clubs in the USA.
I may be completely off-base in my thinking process, but, who knows, I just might be right when I say Florida Gators are the most unselfish and unified alumni group in the entire USA.
If any members of any Gator Club reads my plea for help and can assist me in achieving my goal, I would love to hear from him or her.