Stonington's McGugan to host Teammates for Life fundraiser
Stonington — Vianna McGugan, who won a girls' basketball state championship as both a player and as a coach at Stonington High School, established a group called Teammates For Life in 2015 to provide opportunities — both educational and athletic — to children in Uganda, primarily girls.
When McGugan, 55, retired from her position at Pfizer over the summer, she knew exactly what she wanted for a retirement party: a fundraiser to help raise the $15,000 needed for a transport van in Uganda.
"This is now my work, passion, inspiration," said McGugan, who will host the fundraiser Sunday at Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington. "I am dedicating all my time to Teammates For Life here in the U.S.A. and in Uganda."
In January, the organization completed construction of a multi-use sports complex consisting of two fullcourt basketball courts and six hoops. Currently, according to McGugan, Teammates for Life has accomodated 20 underprivileged Ugandan girls ages 10-13, teaching them the game of basketball.
"I will be going back in January to enter the girls in their first ever official game at an annual boys tournament about 100 miles away from the only place they know exists," said McGugan, a member of the Stonington High School Athletic Hall of Fame and Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. "We don't expect to win but to create many 'first experiences.' A van ride. See other players. Learn their own country. Most everything is a first.
"Just give me a few years to work at this and I will have educated, highly skilled girls' basketball players deciding where they want to play," she said.
Sunday's event will take place from 4-7 p.m. and includes food (including Ugandan specialties), music, a silent auction and automatic entry into a vaction raffle. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by visiting www.teammatesfourlife.org
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