Sacred Heart University Athletics is asking fans to help support the victims of the New Years Eve fire in Bridgeport during home games this weekend. The fire at an apartment complex left 100 people homeless.
"I can't imagine the shock and heartache that these families must be suffering through," said Pioneer head men's basketball coach Anthony Latina. "I am hopeful that our fans, coaches, faculty and staff will come together and show support for the members of our community in their time of need."
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim put out a plea for donations, asking for adult and children's clothing, food, pet food and toys to replace lost holiday gifts. Pioneer student-athletes and staff will deliver all donated items, while any monetary gifts will be submitted to the American Red Cross in Bridgeport. All fans that make a gift valued at $10 or greater will receive a thank you gift from SHU Athletics.
"A story like this gives you pause to consider how fortunate we are in our daily lives," Jessica Mannetti, head women's basketball coach said. "I am thankful that we are in a position to help our neighbors during this difficult time."
The Pioneers men's and women's basketball teams, and men's ice hockey teams are all hosting games this weekend. Men's basketball begins the home games on Thursday evening at 7 p.m., and will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m., with the women's basketball team. The hockey team hosts Army West Point at the Milford Ice Pavilion Saturday at 7 p.m. The weekend home events conclude Monday night with women's basketball hosting FDU at 7 p.m. All basketball games take place at the Pitt Center on the SHU campus.
"The thoughts and prayers of all of us are with these families," Pioneer head men's hockey coach C.J. Marottolo. "We urge our fans to help us provide the basic necessities to them in this time of need."
Tickets for all games can be purchased at SacredHeartPioneers.com/tickets.
Fans that are unable to attend any of the home games this weekend can still provide assistance to the residents of the apartment complex. To make a donation, call Scott Appleby at Bridgeport's Emergency Operations Center at 203-579-3829 or the Mayor's Office at 203-337-2341. Monetary donations may be sent to the Red Cross, c/o Charles Street Fire, 158 Brooklawn Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604.
For more information on SHU Athletics, visit SacredHeartPioneers.com or follow us on twitter and Instagram at SHUBigRed.