Looking up into the crowd at last year’s preseason exhibition game and seeing a large group of people wearing purple shirts is a scene Indiana University women’s basketball head coach Teri Moren still remembers.
The Seymour native said she became overwhelmed, moved and touched by seeing people from her hometown come to not only support her and the team but to remember her mother, Barbara Moren, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the month before.
On Nov. 8, when the Hoosiers host Slippery Rock University for an exhibition matchup at Assembly Hall, Moren hopes to see people waving red rally towels during Barb’s ALS Red Out game.
Red is fitting, Moren said, because it is one of IU’s school colors, represents ALS awareness and was her mother’s favorite color.
“I think it’s twofold,” said Moren, who is beginning her second year at the school. “From a basketball coach’s perspective, it’s kind of seeing where our team is and how we’re progressing in our second year. I think the other thing is about just creating energy and enthusiasm in Assembly Hall.
“Having my close friends and family from Seymour that hopefully will be in the building and other Hoosiers fans there as well and doing what Barb would expect — and that is to cheer for this team — it’s going to be kind of a cool thing,” she said.
Those from Seymour attending last year’s game wore purple T-shirts they had purchased as part of a fundraiser for the ALS Association of Indiana, and a $2,500 check was presented before the game. Purple represented one of Seymour’s school colors.
For this year’s game, which has free admission and starts at 2 p.m. Nov. 8, Moren’s sister, Leann Hutchinson, decided to sell rally towels as a fundraiser. She ordered 100 towels and so far has sold about 30.
They are $10 and will be available for purchase from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday in the Seymour High School parking lot and also before the game Nov. 8.
“We had $10 on Facebook, but at this point, donations will be welcome. We know what we’re going to give to ALS as a family, so whatever we get additionally will just be a little added bonus,” Hutchinson said.
“I think everything matters and anything helps, so it’s just a matter of people wanting to give to a really good cause,” Moren added.
Hutchinson said she hopes to sell all of the towels for this game and that people will have them if they go to regular-season games.
“It’s in remembrance of my mom, first and foremost, and to bring awareness to the disease of ALS and how we really still need to fight hard to find a cure for it,” she said. “And secondly, it’s a towel you could use at all of the IU ladies basketball games as a rally towel, as a little gesture. I think that would mean a lot to my sister if she could continue to see those throughout the year.”
Hutchinson said she also was overwhelmed and touched with people’s support at last year’s game, and she hopes the same for the second annual event.
“It was really cool to look up in the crowd and see all of the purple T-shirts,” she said. “It would be equally as cool to see red towels flying.”
Moren said the plans are to make each year’s exhibition game a time to honor her mother and bring awareness to ALS.
“It’s something that obviously is dear to the hearts of the Morens,” she said. “It’s something that we would love to be able to continue to do annually.”
Hutchinson said they appreciate the love and support the family receives from the people of Seymour.
“People thought that much of my mom and want to continue to support my sister, it just really says so much about the city of Seymour and where we’re from,” she said. “It’s small town, and people don’t know it until they experience it. It has just been amazing how people have continued to support and show their love for our family.”
What: Barb’s ALS Red Out
When: 2 p.m. Nov. 8
Where: Indiana University’s Assembly Hall in Bloomington
Who: The Indiana University women’s basketball team is hosting Slippery Rock University in a preseason exhibition
Fundraiser: Red rally towels are being sold, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the ALS Association of Indiana; they can be purchased from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday in the Seymour High School parking lot or before the game Nov. 8; for information, call Leann Hutchinson at 812-820-8311