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Round 3 of Brewers Fund Challenge Kicks Off February 27#Brew3D to Feature Team Videos, Three-Tiered Competition

Almost a half-million dollars from nearly 10,000 donors: That’s what Vassar’s first two Brewers Fund Challenge events have generated for the college’s 27 intercollegiate athletic teams. On February 27 and 28, the Department of Athletics and Physical Education and the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development (OAAD) will host #Brew3D, the third edition of the Brewers Fund Challenge, with some new twists that include a three-division system for the team competition and prizes for the best team videos.

Starting at 9:00am February 27 and concluding at noon on February 28, Vassar alumnae/i, parents, and other supporters will be asked to give to the Brewers Fund. Donations made in the first two years of the Challenge event have enabled the Department of Athletics and Physical Education to grow the RISE student-athlete leadership program, buy much-needed equipment, pay for out-of-region team travel, promote additional sports medicine and athletic communications coverage for teams, and much, much more.

Director of Athletics and Physical Education Michelle Walsh noted that while the $481,077 in donations made by more than 9,000 donors over the past two years have certainly enabled the college’s athletics programs to provide a more enriching experience for Vassar student-athletes, the event also serves as a tangible acknowledgment of the teams’ hard work and achievements. “This event enables our student-athletes to know they are appreciated for all they bring to campus,” Walsh said. “So many of them excel on the field, in the classroom, and in volunteer work in the community, and support from alums, parents and friends lets them know they are valued members of the Vassar community.”

This year’s goal is 4,027 donors in 27 hours, with a $10,000 bonus if that number is exceeded. In addition, athletic teams in each of three divisions (based on the size of the teams) can earn an additional $2,500 for having the most unique donors and another $2,500 for making the most creative video. A panel of five current Vassar faculty members and administrators will serve as judges for the most creative video competition. These prizes are made possible due to the generosity of Francesca Gutierrez Amann ’91, Caroline Gregson Wabl ’95, and Vassar President Elizabeth Bradley.

The Rose Division includes the rugby, rowing, cross country, track and field, and swimming and diving teams. The Burgundy Division includes the squash, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and field hockey teams. The Gray Division includes the basketball, tennis, golf, and volleyball teams.

Eighty percent of targeted gifts will go to the designated teams and 20 percent is reserved for the general Brewers Fund to support facilities and programs that benefit all student-athletes.

Men’s volleyball Head Coach Richard Gary said his players had benefited directly from the gifts made to the Brewers Fund earlier this year when they opened the season with a trip to face three powerful teams in California. The squad lost to the University of California at San Diego and California Lutheran University before defeating the University of California at Santa Cruz. After returning from California, the team went on a winning streak that included a victory over top-ranked and defending national champion SUNY New Paltz.

Gary said he had no doubt that the trip to California was directly responsible for the team’s subsequent success. “Beyond the recruitment boost we see from trips like this, the experience of facing tough competition and the bonding activities surrounding the trip paved the way for a great season,” he said. “From the moment we got on the plane, our group learned so much about how to be a team.”

Representatives of Vassar’s Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) say they have seen the benefits of the Brewer Fund Challenge first-hand. “Since the implementation of the Challenge, I have seen growth and improvements in SAAC and in my own team,” said SAAC President and women’s soccer goalkeeper Camelia Manring ’20. “The funding allows SAAC to offer more robust programming that directly enriches the experience of student-athletes, from generating crowd support at games to allowing us to focus on volunteer work and community service rather than spend our time on fund-raising.”

SAAC Vice President Matthew Imiolek ’20, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, agreed. “The money raised in the Brewers Fund Challenge has resulted in improvements in the varsity weight room, paid for extended and higher quality training trips for many of our teams, and other facility improvements,” Imiolek said.

For more information about this year’s Challenge, visit