Cornerstone University’s soccer team raises over $6,200 dollars at Night of Nets game
By Matt Lounsberry
Your Sports Editor
The Cornerstone University men’s and women’s soccer team raised over $6200 when they hosted their 2nd annual Night of Nets event last Saturday.
These funds will be used to send bed nets to Zambia and other sub-Saharan parts of Africa to protect families from mosquitos carrying malaria.
Chip Huber, the dean of student engagement at CU, is excited about the fundraiser’s success and looks forward to delivering the nets. Huber has participated in several missions trips to Africa and this event is close to his heart.
“It’s personal,” Huber said. “I have some good friends in Zambia, where our nets will be provided.”
On one of the mission trips, Huber and CU students that went with him helped build a school.
The headmaster of the school, a good friend of Huber’s, lost his son to malaria.
“There are people that I know whose families have been deeply affected,” Huber said. “It affects so many people, it is such a wide spread (disease). You almost can’t run into an extended family that hasn’t had a bout with malaria. That’s one of the reasons I’m really passionate about helping to change that.”
Outside of raising money to purchase the bed nets, Night of Nets is a way to raise awareness and other resources to respond to the global issue that malaria represents.
Huber said that the event “is designed to use soccer as a platform” to bring attention to malaria in Africa.
“There’s a huge connection point between soccer here and soccer in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said. “It’s a game that we love. It’s a game that they love more than us. For us to be able to use a sport that they love to help bring change in their community, we think that’s a pretty cool thing.”
Attendance to soccer games at CU is generally free of charge, but the soccer team and athletic administration asked spectators to donate $6 to watch the game.
“We don’t usually charge an admissions fee for soccer games,” Huber said. “But we suggested that people pay a $6 admission fee. We can get a bed net through our partnership with World Vision for $6. So every person that comes and pays (the fee) provides a bed net for a family who needs one in Africa.”
Huber and several of the men‘s and women’s soccer players will be traveling to Zambia to deliver the nets in May.
The team was unable to take the nets personally last season, so Huber is excited for the opportunity.
“When you know that you’re going to have a chance to personally meet some of the families who lives you’re going to change, that gets [the players] a little more excited about it,” he said.
“When people’s kids are sick or they’re afraid of them getting malaria, they pray,” Huber said. “One of the things that I regularly hear is ‘God answered our prayer through you.’ He chose to use a bunch of soccer players in West Michigan to be the answer to our prayers. I love that.”
Huber is proud that CU can lead by example and show other universities that they can make a difference.
“As a soccer team, as an athletic department we’re saying ‘We believe that God has gifted us with athletic talent to make a difference in people’s lives.’ It’s not just for ourselves, and as a university we want to embrace that idea. We’ve been blessed so that we can bless other people,” he said.
The women lost their Night of Nets game 1-0 to Siena Heights. The men defeated Siena 2-1 on a late go-ahead goal.
Junior Jake Stanko scored his second goal of the season on a Matt Osorio assist to put CU up 1-0.
Siena tied the game at 1-1 in the 86th minute but Ian Taylor responded with the game winner just a minute and half later, his first goal as a Golden Eagle.