Players' charity drive pockets a big donation

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The "Tourchdown 4 A Cure" program received a $1,000 donation from pro golfer Karen Stupples.

By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian

Southeast Missouri State University senior placekicker Derek Kutz has gotten his "Touchdown 4 a Cure" cancer pledge drive off to a rousing start -- thanks to professional golfer Karen Stupples.

Stupples, who is having a big LPGA season, is the touring pro for Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau. She was in town recently and attended Southeast's football media day luncheon on Aug. 10, where Kutz spoke about he and his teammates wanting to do their part in the battle to find a cure for cancer.

According to Southeast coach Tim Billings, Stupples came away so impressed by Kutz's presentation that she decided to donate $1,000 to the campaign.

"It's a great start. This is mighty big, to help kickstart us," Kutz said Monday after Billings presented him with the $1,000 check from Stupples during Billings' weekly media conference. "I definitely want to thank her. Having somebody like this give a check like this could be a huge springboard for us."

Kutz and his teammates are asking the public to pledge money for each touchdown or field goal scored by the Indians this season, with the money going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Regular donations will also be accepted.

Kutz, a St. Vincent High School graduate who was the all-Ohio Valley Conference first-team kicker last year, said he decided to start "Touchdown 4 a Cure" after losing a close friend to cancer last summer.

For more information on how to make pledges or regular donations, contact the Southeast football office at 651-2110 or the Southeast sports information office at 651-2294.

SIU preparations begin

With classes having started on Monday, Southeast officially ended its fall camp and began preparations for the Sept. 2 season opener at Southern Illinois University, which is ranked second nationally by both major Division I-AA polls and is rated first by Athlon's Magazine.

"We've had a good camp," Billings said. "We're kind of beat up like everybody is this time of year, but fortunately we have no major injuries. We got through camp in good shape."

The Indians went through a fairly light practice Monday, working on the kicking game and getting a taste of what SIU likes to do.

"It's more of a walkthrough, to show our players SIU's formations and to introduce our players to SIU," Billings said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: