NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware men’s soccer team spent time earlier this week reaching out to donors of the athletic program who have supported UD Athletics over the past year by calling them by telephone and saying “thank you.”

The event, dubbed the “Thank-A-Thon,” was the brain child of Scarlett Schmidt, Director of Athletic Development. Schmidt oversees the University of Delaware Athletic Fund (UDAF). UDAF donors helped raise $1.3 million last year for the athletic program and continues to be vital to the success of the athletic department. The “Thank-A-Thon” was directed this year by graduate student Jason Hescock, who also works with the UD Football team.

“This is a really simple way to say thank you,” said Schmidt. “When the student athletes come in, they don’t know what to expect, and I think they’ve been pleasantly surprised with how the phone calls have been going. The donors want to know more about them and what their plans are for after school. We’ve had extremely positive responses from both the donors and the student athletes.”

Hescock added a similar sentiment.

“At first, the athletes start out a little apprehensive, and think it seems a little hokey, but they all seem to have a lot of fun with it,” said Hescock. “By the end, they’re telling stories amongst each other about what a great guy the last person they called was or how funny they were. The donors seem to really appreciate it as well, so I think this has been a huge success. The power of a thank you has just been amazing.”

Head soccer coach Ian Hennessy said he viewed this event as an opportunity for the players to directly connect with the UD donors if even for just a few minutes to direct a more personal message to each of the donors that went beyong the stand “thank you” letter.

“We have a terrific group of young men who work hard in the classroom, on the field and in the community and who are wonderful ambassadors for the University,” Hennessy said. “It is important that our donors know that they appreciate every little bit of help that our program is given by even the smallest of gifts in this toughest of times.”