West Virginia University’s Mountaineer Idol Gives Back, a community service component of Mountaineer Idol, will partner with former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch for the ninth consecutive year to collect stuffed animals and raise monetary support for WVU Medicine Children’s.

Mountaineer Idol Gives Back, in collaboration with Lynch, will host a silent auction event benefiting patients of WVU Medicine Children’s on Friday (Oct. 9) at 9 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

Auction items include special gift baskets, autographed sports memorabilia, entertainment packages, among other prizes from local vendors. Attendees are also asked to bring a new stuffed animal to donate and recycled Coca-Cola cans and bottles.

WVU Medicine Children’s will receive all proceeds from the auction. Mountaineer Idol sponsor and Coca-Cola will make a donation of $5 per recycled can or bottle.

“This year’s goal is to collect and donate at least 750 new stuffed animals for Jessi’s Pals at WVU Medicine Children’s,” said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Idol advisor. “This is our ninth year partnering with Jessica Lynch and her wonderful program, and we are always thrilled to give back to our local children’s hospital.”

Jessi’s Pals was initiated by Iraq War veteran Jessica Lynch in 2007 after receiving hundreds of letters and gifts from children while she was recovering from injuries sustained as a prisoner of war in 2003. The program started with 50 stuffed animals and a $1,000 pledge by Lynch from her Jessica Lynch Foundation.

Since 2007, the partnership has collected more than 3,000 stuffed animals for WVU Medicine Children’s, which is the regional referral center for children’s specialty services and high-risk pregnancies and houses the state’s only pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon and neurosurgeons.

“Each child is discharged from the hospital with a blanket and a stuffed animal,” said Wilson. “The stuffed animal gives them something to cuddle during their stay and something to remember the great staff when they go home.”
To donate stuffed animals before the event, you can drop off items to the administrative office located on the second floor of the Mountainlair or call 304-293-2702.

Mountaineer Idol Gives Back is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Mon Hills Records, Coni & Franc and Daniel’s of Morgantown. For more information, visit the Mountaineer Idol Facebook Page.



CONTACT: Sonja Wilson, Mountainlair
304.293.2702, sonja.wilson@mail.wvu.edu

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