CHARLESTON, Ill.– Eastern Illinois athleticsreceivedin excess of $230,000 in gifts towards its Blueprint for Success as they wrapped upthe 3rd
Annual EIU Athletic Director’s Gala held on Feb. 24 at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham.
Eastern Illinois alumnus and current Washington Redskins headcoach Mike Shanahan was the guest of honor leading off the night with a gift of $50,000 and four tickets to the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Shanahan spoke to the crowd of nearly 300 EIUathleticsupporters and signed autographs following the night’s event.
“We are so appreciative that Coach Shanahan was able to take time away from his busy schedule to join us for this year’s event,” stated EIUathletic director Barbara Burke. “With Coach Shanahan’s gift of $50,000 to open the night we were able to raise more than $230,000 towards our Blueprint for Success campaign.”
In addition to an appearance by Shanahan, several other Panther greats were in attendance atthe black tie event including Dr. Joni Comstock, executive vice president for the NCAA,former NFL pro bowl punter Jeff Gossett, former Super Bowl champion Ted Petersen and current NFL players Chris Campbell and Pierre Walters.
The EIU Athletics Blueprint for Success is the athletic department’s comprehensive campaign to raise funds for the building of new facilities and the renovation of existing facilities along with enhanced scholarship dollars. More information on the Blueprint for Success can be foundonline at www.eiupantherclub.com/blueprint
Photos from this year’s Athletic Director’s Gala are available for purchase throughtheEIU Athletic Department website here
. Autographed memorabilia from the event will also beavailable for bid on the newly launched EIU Panther Club website. To view the video of Coach Shanahan's press conference, click here
EIU looks tocontinue its fundraising efforts at the annual Spring Fling which takes place on April 9, 2011. Former EIU defensive back and current Chicago Bears team chaplain Ray McElroy will be the emcee. Tickets for the event are now on sale for $40 per person at217-581-2310 and online at www.eiupantherclub.com
Click here to view photographs from the 3rd Annual Athletic Director's Gala