by Mina Johnson
Kyle Reger, a 1997 Geneseo graduate and former member of the men's soccer program, suffered a stroke on September 4th, 2015. His condition landed him in the Acute Rehabilitation Center at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y., where he began working towards regaining mobility in his left arm and leg. On September 30th, Kyle was permitted to return to his home in Cazenovia, N.Y. and is now going through intensive outpatient therapy.
"I had the privilege of playing with Kyle my first year on the soccer team and what I remember most is that he always treated everybody with respect," said current men's soccer coach Dominic Oliveri '01.
When news of Kyle's circumstances spread to Geneseo men's soccer alumni as well as to current members of the team, everyone agreed for the immediate need to assist the Reger family with their ongoing financial demands.
"Once I heard the news I thought it was important that we as a team come together and try to do something to support Kyle during this journey," said Oliveri.
"The Geneseo soccer family is a very tight-knit community and we often stay in touch with past members of the program," adds senior midfielder Ian Ksanznak. "The alumni were all working hard to help Kyle and his family in their time of need, so we decided as a team that we should work to do our part as well. The alumni have always been very supportive to current players by helping us out with job searches, career advice and anything else we may need."
Ksanznak took the lead in organizing a fundraiser to raise money for the Regers. Ksanznak began the process by reaching out to the Director of Athletics and Reger's former head coach, Michael Mooney, as well as the Athletic Communications Department for assistance.
"My players came up with the fundraising idea for a three-game home stretch and they took it upon themselves to spread about Kyle through social media and the soccer alumni loved the idea," said Oliveri.
The men's soccer team set up table featuring a donation box and a large poster board displaying Kyle's story on the College Stadium concourse to accept donations during a recent three game home stand (Sept. 25 - Fredonia, Sept. 26 - Buffalo State and Sept. 29 - Nazareth). The Knights went 2-1 in those matches, earning wins over Fredonia and Nazareth but falling in a close conference match to Buffalo State, 2-1. However, what mattered most was what the Knights were able to raise for the Regers and once the fundraiser was complete, the team had collected $525.
"A ton of money was raised for Kyle and his family and a bunch of alumni came down to watch our games during that initial weekend. The whole campaign showed just how strong our soccer bond is amongst our current and former players," added Oliveri.
All of the money raised will be donated directly to Kyle and his family through Livingston Cares. Kyle and his wife, Marla Velky-Reger '97, have two sons, Maxwell (6) and Jackson (3). Kyle volunteers his time coaching soccer for the local youth soccer association and serves in many capacities at his local church.
"The team is very thankful for the support that we received from the entire Geneseo community," said Ksanznak. "Throughout the fundraiser, we received support and donations from faculty, alumni, Greek organizations, families and other athletic programs. The encouragement was truly overwhelming. The fact that so many people were able to rally and show support for our fundraising efforts speaks volumes to the sense of community that we have here."
To contribute to the Reger's ensuing medical costs, visit their YouCaring page. #KyleNation