BETHANY, W.Va. – The generosity of hundreds of Bethany College alumni and friends helped the college surpass its goal during its Giving Tuesday fund-raising drive.

Women's Lacrosse Thank You

Members of the women’s lacrosse team express their gratitude to alumni who donated to their program.

The college raised $68,668 between Nov. 24 to Dec. 2 – 137 percent of its $50,000 goal – and celebrated more than 100 first-time donors, who gave a combined $5,274 on Dec. 2.

This year, Bethany designated Giving Tuesday as a day to raise money for the Bison athletic programs, which have been hit cancellations and delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 70 percent of all Bethany students participate in at least one sport.

Giving Tuesday pitted the Bison athletic teams in a friendly competition for matching gifts for most donors and most participation from alumni. Many of the teams took to social media to encourage giving.

Women’s basketball received $1,250 for attracting the most donors (35) during the competition. The team raised a total of $2,938, which will be used to purchase new home uniforms, practice equipment, update the team’s locker room and help with future team activities.”

“We’re very appreciative and grateful for the donations we received,” Coach Brian Sansom said. “Donor support is an important and essential part of our program. This year’s donations were critical since we had to cancel our annual Reverse Raffle fund-raiser because of COVID-19.”

Women’s lacrosse, a program that began at Bethany in 2018, received $1,250 for the largest percentage of alumni donors. Thirty-five percent of women’s lacrosse alumni donated $1,100 to the program.

As a new program, fund-raising through clinics and gear sales have been crucial for team necessities, Coach Liz Geyer said. With COVID-19, the team has missed out on almost a full year of fund-raising opportunities.

“We are so grateful to the amazing lacrosse family that cared enough for our girls to support our team,” Geyer said. “With these donations we’ll be purchasing this season’s practice gear, backpacks, and finally much needed goalie bags.”

Geyer said she’s hopeful that any leftover funds can be used to help fund a 2022 spring break trip to North Carolina.

Men’s lacrosse brought in $3,810, the most of any athletic program. Cross country, football, and men’s soccer each brought in more than $1,000 in donations.

Giving Tuesday saw donations to the Bethany Fund, which covers general campus needs.

“Giving Tuesday also saw generous giving to the Bethany Fund—a fund that supports all students by addressing the college’s most pressing needs,” said Liz Short, director of philanthropic gifts. “As we approach the end of December, we encourage those who haven’t made their gift to Bethany College to consider making a gift of any size to this fund.”

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Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.