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DSU student-athletes feed on Chamber's hospitality
September 8, 2010
The Madison Downtown Armory was filled with Dakota State University student-athletes Thursday night. The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce hosted them and the athletic department's staff at their annual kickoff event.
"The Chamber kickoff is a very visible example of collaboration that takes place between DSU and the Madison business community," stated Gene Wockenfuss, DSU's Athletic Director. "Our student-athletes have started looking forward to this event, not only for the high quality of food and services available, but the connection of the business person(s) that the student-athlete gets to know on a personal basis."
Corsica's Jared Eggers, a freshman, and Graham, Washington's Matt Glick, a sophomore - both offensive tackles for Josh Anderson's football Trojans - were just two of the many, many university student-athletes who received the gifts by Madison businesses and food provided by many of the community's restaurants.
"Coming from a small town, it's really nice what a bigger community like Madison does for all of us athletes," said Eggers Thursday. "All of the food we've had served to us has been really good."
Glick added, "It's amazing what the community does for us. I love how Madison backs DSU's athletic programs."
Coach Anderson, a former Madison Bulldog, isn't surprised by the generosity of Madison.
"As an alumnus of this community's high school, I'm very proud to be back and encouraged by the incredible support," said Anderson. I'm very comfortable in raising my children in this community, with so many people who are 'other-oriented'. Our support from this community is overwhelmingly special. When recruiting athletes, I tell them Madison is a special place, but the people are even better."
"When community churches and their members as well as restaurants and local businesses help us out with meals and other accommodations, it proves me right," added Anderson. "That is the biggest reason we've been so successful in both recruiting and retaining our football student-athletes."
Julie Gross, the Chamber's executive director, said about the annual kickoff event, "It's an excellent way for students to interact with business in Madison. It gives both new and returning students an opportunity to see what is available in Madison and to sample some delicious food from various businesses."
Gross feels that events with DSU and the Chamber are win-win situations.
"DSU and the Chamber have a great relationship," she added. "We really appreciate having the students in Madison. Their impact is immense. Each year the kickoff grows in popularity with the students. They are always very appreciative of the food they are given, which is great for the businesses to see."
Dan Holsworth, DSU Athletics Assistant
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director