The Jan. 30 Battle of the Beaks basketball game between Nazareth College and St. John Fisher College kicks off a series of fundraising events put on by the East Avenue rivals in support of sick and injured kids at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Over the past eight years, the Battle of the Beaks committee, made up of Nazareth College students, has generously raised more than $100,000 with the support of both colleges and the community. Funds support Golisano Children’s Hospital’s NICU, Music Therapy program, and Nursing Education departments, ultimately helping patients and families from across the Finger Lakes region.
The first Battle of the Beaks game will begin with the women playing at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. Both games will be at Nazareth College’s Kidera Gymnasium. Tickets for the event are $5 and can be purchased at the door.
St. John Fisher’s Manning & Napier Gymnasium will host the second round of games starting with the women’s teams at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. The men will play at 4 p.m.
“The games never fail to be packed,” said Paige Culver, Nazareth College student, Battle of the Beaks committee volunteer, and Campus Activities Board-Spirit of Naz Chair. “There is so much of a rivalry between the two schools, but so much good comes out of it when it comes to helping kids at the children’s hospital.”
Battle of the Beaks was created in 2007 by Miracle Makers Becky and Mike Fahy, grateful parents of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) grad. Since then, the events have been largely organized and executed by members of the Battle of the Beaks committee, led by Nazareth employees Becky Fahy, associate professor of psychology, Traci Lian, head women’s lacrosse coach, and Adrienne Jester, head athletic trainer. Fundraising efforts also expanded to include both colleges’ athletic semi-formals and a Winter Walk.
Families are invited to the 6th annual Winter Walk Sunday, Feb. 8, at Nazareth College. Registration for the pirate-themed event starts at 9:30 a.m., with a kid-friendly walk around campus beginning at 10 a.m. After the walk, participants can enjoy snacks and activities inside. Entertainment includes a bounce house, crafts, cookie decorating, music, sports, and more. There is a $10 registration fee per participant, with a special family registration for $25.
“We greatly appreciate all that Nazareth and St. John Fisher Colleges do for our patients,” said Stephanie Sheets, assistant director of community affairs for Golisano Children’s Hospital. “The students’ dedication to making the different events the best they can be truly shines with their success.”