Feb. 11, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's soccer team welcomed a new member to the squad on Monday morning, partnering with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to adopt four-year-old Quinn from nearby Tolland. Fittingly, the players threw an adoption ceremony that coincided with Quinn's fourth birthday in Shenkman Indoor Training Facility.
The Friends of Jaclyn mission is stated as follows:
"Our mission is to improve the quality of life for children and their families who are battling pediatric brain tumors and to raise awareness about this insidious disease. How do we do this? FoJ pairs up children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors with college and high school sports teams. The teams give these children love, support and friendship as they fight this devastating disease. We celebrate each day by creating lasting relationships between student athletes, the child, and their families. This greatly improves the quality of life for children with brain tumors, as well as those who support them."
To learn more about the Friends of Jaclyn foundation, click here.
Before the adoption ceremony, Quinn and her parents spent a few moments looking over all of the football displays in the lobby of the Burton Family Football Complex. Quinn and her family are avid supporters of the UConn Huskies. Though Quinn stated that her favorite color was purple, she admitted red could be a possible new preference. Coincidentally, red has become a prominent color in the new Husky logo adopted in 2013.
Assistant Coach Margaret Rodriguez met Quinn and welcomed her to campus, bringing her into Shenkman Indoor Facility to meet all of the players. The team decorated the far corner with streamers, balloons and a banner welcoming Quinn in her favorite color - purple. Handwritten messages from the players filled the banner as all expressed their excitement to have Quinn join the team and become better acquainted.
The team sat down with Quinn and introduced themselves, noting their favorite color as well as the letter their name started with. After the introductions, Quinn spent some time running around and playing soccer with the players, even taking Riley Houle one-on-one. The squad followed Quinn around as she explored Shenkman before returning to the banner to open birthday presents. The Huskies presented Quinn with her very own signed UConn soccer jersey, which she sported with pride for the team picture, and sang `Happy Birthday.' Quinn also received a unique UConn Build-A-Bear named Hope.
Quinn will be in attendance at Connecticut's spring matches and plans to cheer emphatically from the stands throughout the fall 2014 season. Monday's ceremony marked the beginning of what will be a wonderful, long-lasting relationship as Quinn continues her treatments through the Huskies' fall season.