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Franciscan Faceoff pits Bona and Siena in friendly fundraising challenge


ST. BONAVENTURE — Alumni and friends of St. Bonaventure University and Siena College share a passion for their schools – and also for supporting student achievement. On March 17, they will go head-to-head in the Franciscan Faceoff, a friendly fundraising challenge that combines with each school’s Giving Day and is designed to help ensure a robust learning community continues at both colleges.

For 24 hours, the sister schools will try to outpace each other in the number of participants and the amount of annual fund donations received. Contributors will have the opportunity to join various giving challenges, create their own challenge or simply support a participant or team at each school.

While the St. Bonaventure community is mourning the death of its president, Dr. Dennis R. DePerro, who passed away last week due to complications of COVID-19, the decision was made to move forward with the fundraiser.

“While our hearts are heavy with the loss of our leader, we know that Dr. DePerro would want us to forge ahead,” said Alan Riddle, director of Annual Giving at St. Bonaventure. “The many great works he put into motion will be supported through gifts received during the Franciscan Faceoff.”

Jointly rooted in the Franciscan spirit, St. Bonaventure and Siena usually face off on the basketball court in the annual men’s basketball contest for the coveted Brother Ed Coughlin Franciscan Cup. This year’s competition was canceled due to the pandemic.

The cup’s namesake, Bother F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, was a 1970 Bona graduate, a professed Franciscan friar for 47 years, and a former president at Siena and vice president at St. Bonaventure. He passed away in 2019 following heart surgery.

 “Both Bona’s and Siena held a special place in our brother’s heart,” said Mary Coughlin Quinn, Brother Ed’s sister and a 1976 Bona graduate. “Through his years of servant leadership at each school, he made a difference in the lives of many others, and those people and their stories had a positive effect on him as well. With the Franciscan Faceoff, that richness of giving continues.”

St. Bonaventure and Siena will highlight giving challenges throughout the day on March 17 via email and social media. All donations received will be used to enhance the lives of students at each school by providing scholarship aid and academic support.

By donating, sharing social media posts, and encouraging friends and family to team up for the day, supporters of Siena and Bona’s can make a difference for today’s students.

“The Franciscan Faceoff between Siena and St. Bonaventure will be a day of fundraising support for our communities, with ultimate bragging rights on the line,” said Mike Utzig, senior associate director of the Annual Fund at Siena.

“We wish our sister school well in their fundraising efforts,” said Riddle, “but we’re confident that our Bona alumni and friends will rise to the challenge and propel us to victory in the first-ever Franciscan Faceoff.”

To support St. Bonaventure University in the Franciscan Faceoff on March 17, visit sbu.edu/BonaGivingDay.

For more information, please contact Alan Riddle at 716-375-2068 or ariddle@sbu.edu.