Dear Classmates:

 

We're writing to update you on how the Notre Dame athletics department has spent the money that members of the Class of ’66 have contributed to the Pete Duranko Fund for Student-Athlete Safety.  As you know, the Fund began as our gift to ND on the occasion of our 50th reunion in 2016.  The Fund remains a destination to which we and other donors can send contributions. 

 

To date, more than a third of the class has donated nearly $250,000 to this good cause. 

 

Initial expenditures covered the cost of the following tools that enable trainers and team physicians to better diagnose and treat concussions among the school’s 750 varsity athletes:

 

·      C3Logix is an integrated concussion-management system that provides reliable assessments of baseline and post-injury balance, memory function, reaction time, and visual acuity.

 

·      EYE-SNYC is a visual-assessment device that delivers a record of the eye’s ability to track a moving object, which can be impaired in some concussion cases.

 

·      The Electroencephalogram (EEG) Cap supplies information to personalize concussion treatment with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This FDA-approved approach has been shown to effectively combat depression and neuropathic pain. Student-athletes with sleep issues unmasked or caused by a concussion may also benefit from this technology.

 

More recently, athletics has tapped the Fund to replenish the supply of the new, impact absorbing VCIS helmets worn by members of the football team.  Fund dollars have also made possible a study of the sleep habits of football players by Dr. Jessica Payne, an authority on sleep disorders and a member of the ND psychology faculty. 

 

Moving forward, the University plans to use Duranko Fund dollars to help build a custom-software portal to which student-athletes can turn for information about brain wellness and their mental health. This portal will educate student-athletes about concussion risks, symptoms and self-care, and direct them to resources on-campus and online. It also will serve as a home for health and safety protocols supplied to student-athletes and members of the medical staff, to ensure appropriate health, wellness, and return-to-play decisions. 

Additionally, Notre Dame is seeking endowed funds from one or more major donors to ensure that the Duranko Fund exists in perpetuity as a resource for the University's student-athletes.

 

If you’d like to continue your support for this worthwhile initiative, you can do so online here by typing Duranko into the designation search box.

 

Or you can send a check payable to the Pete Duranko Fund for Student-Athlete Safety to: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556. You may also donate by phone: (574) 631-5150.

 

All gifts made by December 31, 2020 will qualify donors for the 2021 football ticket lottery -- if circumstances permit a lottery to be held next year. Many thanks for your support of the Duranko Fund and for your devotion to Notre Dame.

 

-- Tom Bettag, Minch Lewis, Tom Sullivan & John Twohey

    Members, Duranko Fund Committee

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