Oct. 2, 2008
By Adam Kiefaber
CINCINNATI - This past August, over 350 golfers gathered at the Kenwood Country Club to take part in the fifth annual All for One Golf Classic. As usual, the event was a success, raising $132,000 for Xavier University's athletic department.
Events like the Golf Classic and other general donations to the All for One Club (AFO) help improve the school's athletic programs in-house and allow the university to be able to afford today's ever-increasing travel costs on the road.
"The program is in place to do a couple of different things, to help fund scholarships for the non-revenue programs, to increase the academic support within the university and to provide the resources to make part-time coaches full-time," Director for Annual Fund and Athletic Development Dan Cloran said.
According to Cloran, some of the small but impactful additions the club have been able to provide include making soccer coaches full-time, adding state-of-the-art equipment to the school's weight training facility and being able to offer better and safer travel options to each of the school's teams.
Giving soccer coaches the opportunity to be full-time has had a huge positive impact on the both the men's and women's programs.
"When they become full-time, it allows them to be better with recruiting. It basically allows them to spend 24/7 thinking about and coaching the team, which otherwise they couldn't do if they were a part-time coach," Cloran said.
None of these enhancements would be possible if it wasn't for volunteers like Greg Ionna. Ionna is a 1973 graduate of Xavier and the chairman of the Golf Classic, which is the AFO's largest annual fundraiser.
"We believe it has benefited the athletic department in many ways. Whether it was with equipment or other things they needed to help make that athletic program as competitive as it can be," Ionna said, who in his professional life is the president and CEO of the C.M. Paula Company.
Ionna has a strong bond with XU from his personal experience at the school and also because he has seen many of his family members including siblings, children and even nieces and nephews graduate from Xavier. He describes his giving back to his university through AFO as "a labor of love."
"It has helped both on a personal and professional level because of the people I have met. The benefits that I have gotten out of it certainly can be the same for other alum if they give back in some way to the university," he said.
People can give back by simply accessing the AFO web site through the link on the GoXavier.com homepage. There you can find out how to make a donation, but there are also many events that make it fun for alum and fans alike to give to Xavier athletics.
Besides the Golf Classic, other popular events are the Chalk Talks with men's basketball coach Sean Miller. At these events, AFO members can pay to watch the coach breakdown the team's last game and his overall plans for the program.
Other perks of being in the club include invitations to other exclusive events, including the opportunity for high-level members to get seats and travel on the basketball team's plane to road games.
These opportunities are not just for Xavier alum. Cloran and other AFO club organizers realize that many of the university's athletic supporters may have never attended the school for educational reasons.
"Another reason we started this program was to give people who had no other interest in the university an opportunity to give to athletics if that was their passion," Cloran said.
AFO members are getting excited for the start of the basketball season and for some of the club's upcoming events, such as a private reception with author Michael Perry in the Joseph Club from 2-3 p.m. during this year's Fan Fest, which will take place on Oct. 18. Perry will be signing copies of his book, "Xavier Tales."
Coach Miller's first Chalk Talk of the 2008-2009 school year is scheduled for Nov. 6. There is no better way to prepare yourself for another season of Musketeer basketball than to hear the coach break down the upcoming season firsthand.
To find out more information about the AFO club and its events, simply call 513-745-1030 or visit the All For One Club's website.