Every time the women’s soccer team takes the field for a game, they wear Castleton’s colors of green and white. But this season they’ve added a hint of purple.
On each player’s left arm you will see a purple sweatband with a Spartan logo on it. The band represents the team’s support for the Alzheimer’s Foundation. These bands hold a very special place in the player’s hearts because the impact hits so close to home for all of them.
If you look close enough at bands, you will see the initials D.W. on them. These initials stand for Castleton President Dave Wolk’s wife Diane Wolk, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago.
The idea came about last season when the team was doing a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Foundation. Sophomore Kelsey Lenney said each player had to get 20 people to donate to the cause. They started to ask people to give a dollar for every goal that the team scored. The team’s motto last season was “Score goals, get money.”
The team even had a purple game last year, wearing plain purple sweatbands in honor of the Alzheimer’s’ Foundation as a whole.
But this season they decided to add Diane Wolk’s initials to the sweatbands to honor her personally. Lenney even mentioned that the team wears the bands on their left arm because it’s closer to their hearts that way.
She said President Wolk even went to the teams practice and brought Diane and she told the team how much it meant to her that they were doing that.
“It was so moving. We all had tears in our eyes, but we were proud that we could give something back to a good cause by playing the game that we all love,” Lenney said.
President Wolk was also moved and had nothing but flattering words to say about the team.
“That team is very special. They have a great coach, an amazing attitude, and a sense of the world beyond sports,” Wolk said. “That team never ceases to amaze me. It is very special to me and to my family.”
Lenney added that being a part of something this meaningful has even helped her team’s performance and is giving everyone more inspiration to win.
“I love that we are doing this. I feel like it makes us play even harder and makes us want it more,” Lenney said. “Now, we are not only playing to win and for our school, but we are playing for Diane Wolk and for all the families and individuals that are suffering from Alzheimer’s.”
Senior MacKenzie Gage agrees with Lenney.
“I think coming up with this idea was amazing, and it truly meant a lot to President Wolk. It is truly an honor to take part in something so wonderful,” Gage said.
Junior Ericka Davis said the team is touched by how much it meant to both President Wolk and his wife.
“We as a team feel so proud that we have done something to make a difference in the lives of our President and his family, and we are proud to wear our Alzheimer bands in Mrs. Wolk’s honor in every game we play,” Davis said.
“The women on that team represent the best of what we hope for in Castleton students. They are mature, responsible, intelligent, conscientious and compassionate. They work hard. They play hard. They are excellent students and model citizens. Diane would be proud of them,” Wolk said.