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Alfred State graduate helping to punt away childhood cancer

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ALFRED, NY, January 21, 2022 –Madison Szpaicher, a 2017 Alfred State College (ASC) sport management graduate, has been able to find a career that combines her love of sports and her desire to help others.

Szpaicher, an USCAA All-American volleyball player and a member of three consecutive teams that played in the USCAA Championships, works for the P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative as their assistant director. Hired as the program and event coordinator in July of 2019, Szpaicher moved to her current position in July of 2021.

“If you would’ve told me five years ago after graduation that I would end up in non-profit I would have laughed. But now, I could not imagine being anywhere else.”

P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative financially and emotionally assist Western New York families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis. They work hand and glove with the psycho/social teams at Oishei Children’s Hospital, Roswell Park, and Essential Care. They run and fund six programs (read more about each of the programs run by P.U.N.T.).

“Our two biggest goals are to assure Western New York families that we will be there financially when they have nowhere else to turn and being there for our families when the unthinkable happens.”

The organization roots stem from former Buffalo Bills pro bowl punter Brian Moorman and his wife, Amber. Those roots continue today as current Buffalo Bills players Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, Reid Ferguson, Tyler Bass, and Matt Haack work with the organization.

Alfred State graduate Madison Szpaicher poses with Dawson Knox at an event in Nashville.
From L to R: Louie Wisener, Gwen Mysiak, Dawson Knox, Madison Szpaicher, and John Giroux.
Wisener and Giroux are the founders of the Nashville Bills Backers and Mysiak is the executive director of P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative.

A sixty-second spot aired during the Bills Thanksgiving night game vs. New Orleans that highlighted Knox’s involvement with the organization. Knox also featured the organization on his cleats during the NFL My Cause My Cleats campaign.

“After the Thanksgiving game, we had donations coming in from all over the nation – even Alaska. It is so refreshing to work alongside these guys because they do it for all the right reasons. They get down on the floor with the kids who are hooked up to their chemotherapy and light up a patient’s smile with a simple FaceTime.”

Szpaicher looks back fondly at her time at Alfred State. “My four years provided me with a foundation to launch my career into the sport business world. It taught me that this business realm is ever changing, to think creatively and problem solve, and that networking is key.”

Szpaicher is excited about the work ahead and rooting on the Bills as they make their playoff run.

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