UGA community comes together to help rival La. team ahead of game

Bulldog nation helps upcoming opponent

ATHENS, Ga. -- Over the weekend the University of Georgia will host Nicholls State - a small college out of Louisiana – in a battle on the gridiron.

But earlier in the week Bulldog Nation reached out to help their opponent.

Surely Nicholls State would love to focus on football but many of their students and athletes have been dealing with the historic floods that have affected Baton Rouge.

This past week, the call to help reached UGA.

Sherri O’Mahoney is UGA all the way.

The diehard Bulldogs fan will be at the game Saturday. But until recently, she had never heard of their opponent, Nicholls State.

“Certainly didn’t know that they were even in Louisiana,” she said.

It’s the state whose capitol, Baton Rouge, just faced historic flooding.

Many residents continue to deal with the aftermath including at least 55 students and 10 football players at nearby Nicholls State.

“People that were never supposed to deal with floods in their house, and didn’t have the kind of insurance to protect themselves from it,” O’Mahoney said. “I mean, kids are supposed to be starting school, and their house is underwater. And you can’t help but want to reach out to them.”

A week prior, UGA called on its fans to do exactly that. Its athletic department posted a photo on Facebook and Twitter. It linked to a relief fund looking to raise $10,000 for supplies and clothes for those affected students.

“They’re coming all this way to play this game, and their families have been through so much,” O’Mahoney said. “I saw it, and I thought, ‘Well that’s kind of a no-brainer’.”

So she donated and Bulldog alums from Atlanta to Savannah joined her.

“Georgia is my school, but in the end we are all one people,” she said. “You end up with people from all over.”

At Sanford Stadium Saturday, O’Mahoney will still be UGA all the way. But she hopes UGA fans worldwide follow her lead for an opponent in need.

“I don’t see why we’re coming together for a game,” she said. “But we can’t come together for something bigger than that.”

To contribute to emergency flood relief efforts, visit the official fundraising page set up by the Nicholls Foundation in Thibodaux, La.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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