JONESBORO, Ark. (10/4/23) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Wednesday that its men’s basketball team will host a charity exhibition game against the University of Central Arkansas on Oct. 30 with all ticket proceeds benefitting the Wynne Relief and Recovery Center.
A-State is teaming up with East Arkansas Broadcasters (EAB), its official radio broadcast partner, to promote the exhibition outing, which will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. at First National Bank Arena. All tickets will be sold as $5 general-admission seating and may be purchased by calling the A-State Ticket Office at 870-972-2781. Fans who have courtside or suite season tickets can also purchase a $5 ticket that will grant access to those premium areas.
The Wynne, Ark., community, located just 45 miles south of Jonesboro, was hit by a devastating EF3 tornado on March 1, 2023, and recovery efforts are still ongoing. The Wynne Relief and Recovery is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization that was formed by Wynne citizens who live and work in the community.
The organization, located at 187 Murray St. in Wynne, has been the headquarters for providing those affected with food, supplies and a helping hand. While all ticket revenue from the A-State exhibition game will be donated to Wynne Relief and Recovery, those wishing to make a donation to the organization beyond the $5 admission price may do so by visiting WynneRecovery.org.
“Our Athletics Department is proud to be part of the Northeast Arkansas community, which is such a special place because of the people who live here and the way we support one another,” said A-State Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Jeff Purinton. “The Wynne Relief and Recovery Center has done an amazing job helping those in need, so we’re excited about the opportunity for our Red Wolves’ fans to get an early look at our men’s basketball team while supporting a very important cause. We also want to thank Bobby Caldwell and East Arkansas Broadcasters for their partnership in this endeavor, helping us raise awareness about our charity game against UCA and how impactful it can be for the City of Wynne.”
During halftime of the contest, A-State will recognize the Wynne Relief and Recovery Board of Directors, led by Leanne Lovell. Several student groups at Wynne High School and first responders are also expected to be in attendance and will be recognized from the stands during a timeout.
“We were blessed with the flow of donations in the beginning,” said Lovell. “We had truckloads of supplies coming in fast, and we were sending them out into the community even faster. As public awareness diminished over time, so did the financial support. We are working with the Arkansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and have started case management, meaning we are getting closer to knowing the extent of the damages and the supplies that will be needed to do the work.
“We also have teamed up with two non-profit organizations that are interested in coming to do the labor required to repair and rebuild homes – the trouble is it takes money to buy the supplies, making the financial support the biggest need for the unforeseeable future. We are grateful for all support as we move forward in recovery, but the financial support will determine how much work will get done.
“We would definitely like to thank every organization, business and individuals who have helped us along the way. Thank you to A-State and the University of Central Arkansas for doing this benefit and for all who will buy tickets and make donations – you are helping build more than homes, you are building faith in humanity.”
With the addition of the charity game, the A-State men’s basketball team now has two exhibition games scheduled ahead of its season opener Nov. 6 at Wisconsin. The Red Wolves will also host Trevecca Nazarene on Oct. 25, five days ahead of its game against Central Arkansas.
Several members of the Arkansas State men’s basketball staff and players joined other A-State student-athletes, coaches and administrators who participated in a tornado relief supplies drive for the city of Wynne this past April.
“When we first started discussing the possibility of hosting a charity exhibition game, we wanted it to be about more than just basketball – we wanted it to be something that could really impact the people of our community in a positive way,” said A-State head men’s basketball coach Bryan Hodgson. “The Wynne Relief and Recovery organization has already provided so much needed help, but we know there is more work to be done, and this is a fantastic way for our program to host an event to support their efforts. We also want to thank the NCAA for approving our waiver request that allows us to play an additional exhibition contest for charity purposes.”
A-State Men’s Basketball to Host Charity Exhibition Game October 30. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council