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Alums Contribute to WCU Fund to Help Athletes Train, Study over Summer

May 23, 2005

Cullowhee, N.C. - About 20 Western Carolina University student-athletes will be able to train while taking additional classes this summer thanks to a recently established scholarship fund designed to help them be competitive within the Southern Conference and stay on track to graduate.

Western alumni David and Cindi Dingler of Brentwood, Tenn., and Rob and Jane Sales of Savannah, Ga., contributed $5,000 per couple to the new scholarship fund established in honor of Marty Ramsey, former Catamount Club director. Ramsey served as executive director of the Catamount Club from September 1994 until June 2004, when he became director of alumni affairs at Western

"We gave because of the immediate need for our athletes to be competitive in the Southern Conference," said David Dingler. "I was amazed to learn that we were the only conference school without a summer program for our athletes. The gifts that we have provided will help, but much more support is needed right away."

The Dingler and Sales contributions, combined with other gifts, have pushed the scholarship fund to nearly $20,000 just a few months after it was established, said Bill Richter, executive director of the Catamount Club. The university's athletics fund-raising organization, the Catamount Club has more than 3,200 members.

"The fund will allow Catamount student-athletes to return to campus over the summer, focus on academic class work, and participate in off-season conditioning and training programs," Richter said. "Some of our rivals in the conference have as many as 70 student-athletes registered for summer school classes."

David Dingler is a 1969 graduate of Western, and wife Cindi is a 1971 WCU graduate. Rob Sales graduated from Western in 1969, while wife Jane graduated in 1970.

To contribute to the fund or for more information about the Catamount Club, contact Bill Richter at (828) 227-2530 or via e-mail at