RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.15 (Women's Basketball)
— Heather Hawkins (@hrhawkins1) December 14, 2016
A post shared by Kansas Women’s Basketball (@kuwbball) on Dec 19, 2013 at 4:31pm PST
Spending time in the hospital isn’t fun for anyone, especially if your stay is during the holiday season. For the last 25 years, the Crimson and Blue Holiday Project has helped brighten spirits and made patients smile while enduring difficult times in the hospital close to the holidays.
The Crimson and Blue Holiday Project is spearheaded by Kansas Athletics’ trademark and licensing office, which asks vendors to contribute one or more items that they regularly produce and send it to Assistant Athletics Director of Trademark Licensing Paul Vander Tuig. From there, Kansas Athletics disperses the KU gear to charitable causes throughout the Holiday season.
Among the charitable organizations that benefit from the Crimson and Blue Holiday Project is Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Vander Tuig enlists the help of Kansas women’s basketball to visit the local hospital, handing out KU goods and visiting with patients. While the project has been giving to charities for 25 years now, Kansas women’s basketball has been visiting LMH with the project for the last 23 years.
The first two years of the project, Kansas men’s basketball assisted and visited the University of Kansas hospital, but the decision was made to localize the event, bringing it to Lawrence and the women’s basketball program took over. Kansas women’s basketball head coach Brandon Schneider’s squad will visit LMH with the Crimson and Blue Holiday Project on Friday, Dec. 15, before hitting the road for their final two non-conference games.
The idea for the project was born while Vander Tuig was at Minnesota in the early 1990’s. When he transitioned to Kansas he brought the project to Lawrence and the first Crimson and Blue Holiday Project was executed in December of 1993.
Kansas’ annual trip to LMH has become a much-anticipated event for the KU women’s basketball program, the LMH staff and most importantly the patients. The first and favorite stop each year is the Labor and Delivery wing, where the Jayhawks begin teaching the newborns how to say, ‘Rock Chalk!’
During the last 25 years, Kansas vendors have donated over $400,000 worth of KU gear to be distributed to charitable organizations like visits to LMH and Toys for Tots.
Although the Crimson and Blue Holiday Project started to brighten spirits during the holiday season, it’s not the only time that it gives out KU gear. Any donations not handed out during the visit to LMH in December is kept to give out for patient’s birthday or to help replace clothes ruined in an accident.
No matter the time or the cause, the Crimson and Blue Holiday Project has helped spread Holiday cheer for the last 25 years and will continue the tradition as long as vendors keep giving.