Dear West Point® Wrestling Family,
This season we will launch our first ever “WPWC: Next Level - 2022” fundraising campaign. The focus of this campaign is to activate the Army Wrestling community in order to effectively support the program, coaches, and athletes as we strive to build champions on and off the mat.
This year our fundraising target is $100,000 by February 22nd, 2022 — the star match between Army and Navy at Annapolis, MD. While this might seem like a lofty target, if every alumni of Army Wrestling were to donate $250 we would exceed this target.
Critical to success will be the activation of the Army West Point Wrestling Alumni. As wrestling team members, for many of us, wrestling was at the core of our 46-month West Point journey. It is only right that we lead in the effort to support the program. In line with our giving targets, we are establishing a Class Affiliation Program (CAP) to build bonds between generations of alumni and current Cadets. These class cohorts will empower alumni to support the program while building relationships with other alumni outside of their time at the academy. The CAP cohorts are as follows:
For this campaign, we are asking each CAP cohort to contribute $10,000. We encourage classes to communicate and coordinate their efforts. Of course, for family and friends who wish to support, there is no requirement to claim affiliation.
Why are we doing a fundraising campaign?
In order to remain competitive, we must attract the best possible talent to our practice room. This includes our volunteer assistants and, in the future, Athletes in Residence who are training to future their post-collegiate ambitions on the national and international stage through our USA Wrestling sanctioned Regional Training Center (RTC). These athletes are vital members of our wrestling community, ensure that we have a competitive practice room, and raise the overall skill level and maturity of our athletes.
In past years, we’ve been fortunate to have many talented and dedicated athletes join our program as volunteer Assistant Coaches. However, the conditions under which they join our community are not sustainable. The stipend we are currently able to provide through the club is just above the annual minimum wage in New York State and we are unable to offer additional health benefits. The same is true of housing and with the increased popularity of the Hudson Valley in recent years, we’ve seen an increase in median home prices of 20.8% in the last year alone. In short, if we wish to continue to ascend the NCAA Division I rankings and put Army Wrestlers on the podium in March, we need to invest in our program -- that starts with having great coaches and athletes in the practice room.
But I already donate each month. Why is the WPWC asking for more now?
The monthly contribution program has made a huge impact on the ability of the WPWC to operate effectively. Right now we receive monthly donations from only 5.5% of alumni and the median donation is $25. This means that we now have enough money to cover expenses, pay the assistant coaches their small stipend, and sponsor athletes to attend some off-season competitions. The monthly contributions are a step in the right direction, but they cover the essential operations of the club and leave little room for longterm development.
I’d like to support the program in a different way -- through either the AOG or the A-Club. Should I donate to WPWC instead?
No. The program has needs with varying levels of priority and oversight. If you would like to support the program through the AOG/A-Club, please do. We have plans for a dedicated facility and other large investments in the program that will require Academy level support. We also seek to be good partners with the AOG/A-Club and their priorities. We want to have an impact in the wrestling room and leave infrastructure, major giving, and other higher level priorities to the Academy.
What are the priorities for the funds we are raising?
We aim to directly support the program based upon the needs as prioritized by the needs of the RTC and coaching staff. This means that we are dynamic and react to changing priorities and opportunities as they emerge. Generally, we are focused on the following priorities:
- Providing financial support to volunteer assistant coaches
- Providing financial support to athletes in residence
- Sponsoring athlete participation during off-season competitions
- Covering material or equipment shortfalls not included in the team’s budget
- Furthering the club’s youth and development programing
For more information please contact Tommy Hendrix (Army Wrestling '06) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate, visit WPWC Next Level - 2022 and select WPWC Next Level - 2022 from the dropdown.