Over the last year, the East Carolina Pirates took on the challenge of helping to combat the neurodegenerative disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) by designing T-shirts to promote awareness and raise money for research on the disease within the Greenville community.

As part of Dowdy Student Stores’ “Cool Tees for a Cause,” the store paired up with its vendor Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, North Carolina to create the “Strike Out ALS” T-shirts for this last year’s cause. The T-shirts were for sale throughout the year at Dowdy Student Stores, as well as at its souvenir booth in the Clark-LeClair Stadium during baseball season.

According to Dowdy’s merchandise manager John Palmer, for every T-shirt sale that was made this year, $4 were donated to the cause.

"The biggest impact is locally the sale of shirts, the $4 a shirt stays in Greenville and Pitt county and it stays with the Greenville chapter of ALS so it helps support the local community,” Palmer said.

Alongside baseball head coach Cliff Godwin and Dowdy’s vendor Perfect Promotions & More, Dowdy Student Stores presented a check for $5,250 to the ALS Association’s North Carolina Chapter on Aug. 16.

The presentation was held at Clark-LeClair stadium where Godwin shared why research on this disease is so important, especially to the Pirate community.

“It'll benefit the people who are fighting the very tough disease. Coach LeClair, who coached here, was obviously taken away with that disease and Nelson Cooper, a great professor here also,” Godwin said. “So it really touches very close to home and we are willing to do whatever we can to raise money and raise awareness for this disease so that we can defeat it.”

Perfect Promotions and Dowdy Student Stores have collaborated for three years raising more than $35,000 for a variety of local charities.

“I was working with a family company, Perfect (Promotions), and we were working with a lot of student organizations,” Perfect Promotions’s Vice President of Sales Stephen McFadden said. “Working with (Dowdy Student Stores), there was a lot of opportunity to help different organizations.”

This year’s “Cool Tee for a Cause” shirt will come out in late August and will benefit pediatric cancer awareness. According to Palmer, it will be a gold T-shirt, fit for the “Paint it Gold” football game.

In the past, Dowdy Student Stores and Perfect Promotions have also created T-shirts for military appreciation, as well as to raise awareness for various cancers.

“Pirate fans have always been supportive of the cause-related T-shirts sold through our store on campus,” ECU Dowdy Student Stores Director Bryan Tuten said.

Tuten added, “We’ve done different contributions in different areas. It’s something we are really proud of. We’re glad to be a part of that and be able to do that.”

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