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Virtual “Racker Rivals Big Red” breaks donation record

Local News

The 6th annual “Racker Rivals Big Red” charity hockey game was pushed to an online fundraiser this year due to COVID-19, but supporters responded by donating the highest grand-total in the event’s history.

A month-long campaign began June 15 and ended on July 15, during which $157,200 were raised in the form of pledges by members of the community.

2020 marks the sixth year of Racker Rivals Big Red, an event that’s pooled more than $719k during that time to support the critical programs and services Racker provides every day for people with disabilities in our community.

“Racker is humbled by the outpouring of support at a time where many local nonprofits are feeling the strain of the pandemic,” said Katie Williams, Assistant Director of Community Relations and Development at Racker. “We are in awe of the generosity of so many in our community that dedicated their time and money to make this event successful, particularly our Cornell Hockey family that makes this event possible.”

This year, the game consisted of four weeks of spirited virtual fundraising between Team Racker, coached by Greg Hartz, President and CEO of Tompkins Trust Company, and Team Cornell, coached by Cornell Big Red men’s hockey coach Mike Schafer.

Throughout the “competition,” donors make pledges on players who battle for their team to take the top spot for highest grant total donation amount.

Racker officials say the game was a nail biter until the end, with a tie on the scoreboard when the clock ran out.

Pulling into the lead at the last minute by just a few hundred dollars, the trophy this year goes to Team Big Red, with a total raised of $49,481.

Team Racker did not make their win easy, however. The score was virtually tied for the final week of the competition.

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