University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Day of Giving


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$15,000 Goal

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Help UAFS Volleyball team get to Alaska! 

About our Project

UAFS Volleyball has the opportunity to play in a preseason tournament in Alaska next September.   We are using this trip as a team bonding experience to create team cohesion so every player and staff will attend.  Players and staff will spend two days playing in the tournament and one day exploring the surrounding areas together. 

The funds raised will be used to help with the cost of flights and hotels for the volleyball team and staff.  We have 25 players and staff that will travel.  The cost of this trip is approximately $35,000 so any funds raised would greatly help our efforts for planning this trip. 

Funding this project would allow our players a once in a lifetime opportunity to play the sport they love and discover the unique culture, landscape, and wildlife that Alaska has to offer.  Preseason trips are important in that they create team bonds that set the tone for the season and for the girls to be successful together.  Long after their volleyball careers are over at UAFS, the players will remember the wonderful memories they share together from experiences like these. 



"My name is Maddie Stojanovic (Gilliam), a Fort Smith native, and my college career began in the Fall of 2014 as a UA Fort Smith Lady Lion Volleyball Player. I believe the UAFS volleyball program, Coach Sargent, and my experiences as a colligate athlete continue to play an instrumental role in my preparedness for life and my identity outside of being a retired volleyball player.

Transitioning out of a collegiate athletic career isn’t an easy feat, especially since many athletes spend most of their lives devoting their focus and heart into a sport that inevitably comes to an end. If you would have asked me what’s most important while on the team, I most likely would have responded with answers along the lines of my hitting percentages, my quality of passes, actually “holding” my platform while on serve receive... But looking back, I know my most valuable take aways from my time as a UAFS volleyball player are the memories and relationships that I’ve shared along the way. 

I have been blessed to travel extensively both professionally and personally in the last several years (5 continents, 15 countries) and have found that each time I return home, having interacted with the world around me and humans in it, I have deepened my understanding of how alike people truly are, regardless of the language they speak or the dinner on their table at night (If they have any that is). Perspective cannot be taught, given, or bought, but I strongly believe that this world would be a better place if we all had ceased an opportunity to gain it.  

Please let this serve as my outstanding “Thank you” to all those donors of the UAFS volleyball team before me and as I had called it home. Because of you and your confidence in the program, lives have been enriched and opportunities have been given. If you find yourself with the flexibility to financially contribute to the upcoming season of the UA Fort Smith Lady Lions, without reservation, I ask that you consider doing so as it had both literally and figuratively opened my world.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best, “It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes, everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.'"

-Maddie Stojanovic, Class of 2018, former UAFS Volleyball Player

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