Carrie Underwood, Dick’s Sporting Goods donate $100K to girls sports programs
Burrell High School’s 2019 homecoming queen skipped Saturday’s school dance to go to country star Carrie Underwood’s concert in Pittsburgh.
Homecoming queen Sara Novak said she and classmate Hannah Koziarski, both student-athletes, were told by district officials that they would be able to pick out an outfit from Underwood’s CALIA line sold by Findlay-based Dick’s Sporting Goods and get a workout with Underwood’s personal trainer before the concert.
What they and eight students from four other Western Pennsylvania districts didn’t know was that they’d also get to meet Underwood, and the country star would present $20,000 checks to each of their districts to benefit girls athletics.
The other districts included Armstrong, Fort Cherry, Riverside and Slippery Rock.
“It was kind of weird missing (the homecoming dance) being homecoming queen, but I don’t really regret not going,” said Novak, 18, of Lower Burrell.
Koziarski, 17, also of Lower Burrell, said she learned about the concert opportunity two weeks ago. She and Novak both play volleyball for the Lady Bucs, and Koziarski also is a pole vaulter on the track team.
“I said, ‘We’re going. We have to go,’ ” Koziarski said of her reaction to the offer from district officials. “I couldn’t pass up on that.”
The opportunity arose after two other Burrell girls said they’d rather go to the homecoming dance.
Dick’s Sporting Goods contacted officials from the five districts about the opportunity and, like Novak and Koziarski, they jumped at the chance to participate, Burrell athletic director Drake D’Angelo said.
“We’ll use (the $20,000) for different things to support girls sports,” D’Angelo said. “We’re very grateful.”
Armstrong High School Principal Jim Rummel also was appreciative.
“We’re very pleased to be one of the five schools they chose this year,” Rummel said. “We’ll get with coaches and our athletic department and make sure the money goes to benefit the kids.”
The donations were made through Underwood and The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation. Dick’s has pledged more than $110 million to support teams and raise awareness of what it terms the youth sports funding crisis since it launched its Sports Matter program in 2014.
As for their other activities, Novak and Koziarski said the workout with Underwood’s personal trainer inside PPG Paints Arena was tough.
“I’m still sore,” Novak said.
Underwood, who came to Pittsburgh as part of her Cry Pretty Tour 360, arranged the workout to highlight how she maintains a healthy lifestyle while on the road.
Novak and Koziarski said the 36-year-old Underwood keeps in great shape.
As for the concert?
Koziarski described it as amazing.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .