December 11, 2012

ECAC-SIDA Donates $5,000 to Maggie Dixon Foundation

(Pictured from left:  Joel Fisher, Madison Square Garden Executive Vice-President;  Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh Head Men's Basketball Coach; Theresa Weatherspoon, Louisiana Tech Head Women's Basketball Coach; Joanne McCallie, Duke University Head Women's Basketball Coach; C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers University Head Women's Basketball Coach; Joseph Tartamella, St. John's University Head Women's Basketball Coach; Geoff Hassard, ECAC-SIDA President; Roger Crosley, ECAC-SIDA Treasurer.  Photo by Stacy Podelski, 1495 Sports.  

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Eastern College Athletic Conference – Sports Information Directors’ Association President Geoff Hassard of SUNY Oneonta and ECAC-SIDA Treasurer Roger Crosley of the ECAC were on hand at Madison Square Garden on December 9 to present a check for $5,000 to the Maggie Dixon Foundation.  The money was the result of the annual ECAC-SIDA Charity Raffle and Silent Auction held last June in Pittsburgh.

The presentation took place following the first game of the Maggie Dixon Classic, the event celebrating the life and career of the late Army women’s basketball coach.  The first game featured Rutgers and Louisiana Tech, while St. John’s hosted Duke in the second game.

Prior to the presentation all four teams took the court and lined up from sideline to sideline across the free throw line.  Following a brief video about the life of Maggie Dixon highlighting the effect she had on those she coached and those whose lives she touched in other ways, the four competing coaches were asked to come to the center of the court where they were joined by Joel Foster, vice-president of Madison Square Garden, and Jamie Dixon, brother of Maggie and head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh.  Foster made an initial donation of $5,000 from Madison Square Garden.

In the presentation of the ECAC-SIDA check, Mark Fratto, Director of Athletic Communications at St. John’s University and the public address announcer for the event read, “Last June in Pittsburgh, the Eastern College Athletic Conference-Sports Information Directors’ Association held its annual workshop.  The organization voted to donate proceeds from its annual charity raffle and silent auction to the Maggie Dixon Foundation.  Through the efforts of ECAC-SIDA Charities Chair Bob Beretta of Army and his committee, and the generosity of the 175 ECAC sports information directors in attendance, EACA-SIDA raised $5,000.  Presenting a check to the Dixon Foundation is ECAC-SIDA President Geoff Hassard from SUNY Oneonta and ECAC-SIDA Treasurer Roger Crosley from the Eastern College Athletic Conference.  The sports information directors of the ECAC are both pleased and proud to support the Maggie Dixon Foundation.”

“It was a tremendous honor to participate in such a worthy event for such a great cause,” Hassard said.  “ECAC-SIDA has a long history of charitable contributions, and this is the largest donation we’ve ever made.  To be able to showcase the heartfelt generosity of our members on this stage, in front of this type of crowd was a truly humbling and, at the same time gratifying, experience.”

“Bob Beretta knew Maggie well and became very close with the Dixon Family through the time of her tragic loss,” Crosley added.  ”Bob was the impetus behind our selecting the Dixon Foundation as our charity in 2012. 

“Being in Pittsburgh where Jamie has had so much success provided us a natural link.  Bob got us in touch with the right people to make this presentation happen, and our only regret was that he was unable to accompany us and receive the recognition he so rightly deserves.”

The Maggie Dixon Classic incorporates fundraising for heart arrythmia research and a Health Fair featuring information booths and free screenings. Along with the two games, the Dixon Foundation sponsored a Heart Health Clinic below the end line seats in the Garden.