Thanks to the generosity of Pirate fans, East Carolina University and Conference USA, a total of 4,509 tickets to attend the 2007 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Sunday will be in the hands of military personnel and families based on the islands.
ECU's "Ticket for Troops" campaign reached its conclusion late Tuesday with a total of 2,709 tickets donated from 28 states, the District of Columbia and a U.S. Territory. With the overwhelming response, ECU and C-USA were able to match 1,800 tickets to enable a gift of more than 4,500 tickets to personnel serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl officials have worked with the United States Pacific Command to identify deserving marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and their dependents who are not traveling home stateside for the holidays.
"Once again, Pirate fans have distinguished themselves as leaders in the spirit of collegiate athletics," East Carolina Athletics Director Terry Holland said. "While financial support for the 2007 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl is certainly important, the genuine gift of generosity and gratitude that the ECU family has been able to pass along to our heroes in the military is simply priceless. This could not have happened without the cooperation of our colleagues at Conference USA and our friends at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. In addition to these partnerships, I truly appreciate and recognize the hard work of Scott Wetherbee and our staff to make this initiative a reality for many special people."
The campaign resulted in over $180,000 in tickets donated.
The Pirates will battle the No. 22 Boise State Broncos at Aloha Stadium Sunday in an 8:00 p.m. (EST) kickoff broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Troops and their families receiving the tickets will sit in designated East Carolina sections and have an opportunity to pick up purple and gold pompons that will be distributed in the stadium courtesy of International Sports Properties (ISP).
Pirate fans who purchased tickets designated for the troops will receive a commemorative 2007 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl ticket for their donations.