Livingston Lanes & Pub held a memorial fundraiser on Sunday Feb. 21 to raise money for the families of Kelsey Annese and Matthew Hutchinson. Coordinated by former men’s lacrosse midfielder junior Drew Madarasz, the event served not only as a fundraiser, but as a means for Geneseo community members to come together in solidarity.
The sound of bowling pins being struck down could be heard amongst waves of laughter echoing across the lanes. Hockey players, basketball lovers, swimmers, track stars and lacrosse players alike stood in half circles wearing bowling shoes, smiling, telling stories and making new friends. On a small table stood a cardboard donation box featuring pictures of Annese and Hutchinson on its front. Madarasz sat with the box and expressed his gratitude for donations.
“Being a student athlete at the time and seeing everyone being directly affected around you makes you want to do something,” Madarasz said. “My position with Livingston Lanes made it easy for me to do something. We’d love to raise as much as we can, but bringing the Geneseo community together is just as important.”
Madarasz went on to explain that he was a member of Geneseo’s marketing club and a participant in their Adopt-a-Business program—the program through which he was able to coordinate the fundraiser with Livingston Lanes & Pub. “I’ve been in the program for a year,” he said. “I realized I had the opportunity to do some good and I’m glad they were receptive to the idea.”
“We have the facilities, so why not do something to help out?” Director of Sales and Marketing for Geneseo Hospitality Chelsea Johns added. Geneseo Hospitality owns the Hampton Inn and other Geneseo businesses. “It’s a fun activity for the community to come together over. At the Hampton Inn, we accommodate the parents of many Geneseo athletes and it’s been great to do something for them.”
Many members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee were present at the event, including president and senior men’s soccer back Brad Campion. Campion also spoke at Annese and Hutchinson’s Jan. 20 vigil and was commended by Geneseo community members and alum alike for his touching tribute to his fellow student athletes.
“I was just trying to capture what I was told about Matt and Kelsey. I went around and talked to the women’s basketball and men’s hockey team beforehand. It was mostly them speaking while I was up there,” Campion said. “We’ll never move on, but we have to move forward. We only grow closer and events like this just help us come together without directly reflecting.”
In times of loss, catharsis may not be explicit; mourning does not always involve tears. At Livingston Lanes & Pub’s fundraiser, however, friends and student athlete’s alike celebrated life while also reflecting on a recent loss through an afternoon of bowling. Underneath the smiles and strikes, emotional stiches were sewn and the student athlete community was brought closer together.