UAB, Blazer Boosters Ask You To "Play Your Part"

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June 14, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB Athletics and Blazer Boosters launched the Grand Initiative last fall in an effort to drive support for UAB student-athletes. The goal is to nearly double the donor base to 1,000 members by Sept. 30, 2012. The membership base grew from 567 active members in 2010 to 729 active members in 2011, a 29 percent increase. Since Jan. 1 of this year, 106 new members have joined Blazer Boosters.

With renewals out and priority seating deadlines quickly approaching, every Blazer fan and community member is being asked to "Play Your Part" and philanthropically support UAB Athletics with a gift of at least $100. Payment plans are available and there are a number of great benefits associated within each level of giving. Be sure to view the BLAZER BOOSTERS 2012 MEMBERSHIP GUIDE, which contains information about these benefits and all the ways you can become a member and support UAB Athletics and Blazer student-athletes.

"UAB supporters are stepping up and investing in the student-athlete experience through a Blazer Boosters membership," said Coleman Barnes, Associate Athletics Director for Development. "We still have a lot of work to do and must capitalize on all the momentum that our program has right now.

"There is an increased level of excitement around new football and men's basketball head coaches Garrick McGee and Jerod Haase, respectively. It is important that we transition this excitement into increased support, as it will position all of our teams for greater success in the classroom and competitive venues."

Additionally, UAB Athletics' volunteer program, Blazer Reps, has produced 62 new 2012 members thus far, generating more than $40,000 in new money to support student-athlete scholarships. Ed Sims, a father of two UAB alumni, including former student-athlete Shawn Sims, currently leads all Blazer Reps for recruiting the most new members at 11.

"I believe that improving the student-athlete experience will advance these young men and women we support, which ultimately will better the city of Birmingham and positively affect the state of Alabama," Sims said. "I know this is true in Shawn's life and the lives of many former UAB student-athletes, so I wanted to play my part to move this athletic program forward. I would urge others to do the same and become involved at any level."

Active donors and prospective donors can keep up with the progress of the Grand Initiative by following the new "FLAME TRACKER." This page will be updated weekly through Sept. 30. For more information about supporting the Grand Initiative and getting involved with UAB Athletics, contact the Blazer Boosters office at (205) 996-9969 or You can also CLICK HERE to become a 2012 Blazer Boosters member today.

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