DALLAS (WMC) - Many fans who traveled with the Memphis Tigers ahead of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic found something unexpected Friday.
On Saturday, they’ll be rooting for different teams, but Friday, the Penn State Alumni Association and the University of Memphis Alumni Association worked together to give back to the Dallas community.
The alumni associations teamed up to support the I Can Still Shine Program, helping abused and battered women and children.
The Penn State Alumni created the event three years ago to volunteer at each Bowl game site they go to.
“We are foes on the field tomorrow and we’re going to try our best to beat them tomorrow, but today, we’re partners in higher education and showing the impact that higher education has on the world,” said Paul Clifford, Penn State Alumni Association CEO.
"It's nice to get away from the football aspect of it and give back,” said Kristie Goldsmith, Memphis Alumni Association Director.
The two groups organized a clothes drive, built shelves and applied a fresh coat of paint — some volunteers already looked ready for Saturday's game.
The Memphis alumni say they jumped at the opportunity to help when asked to participate.
"And we said of course! This is big! For us, Memphis is about giving back. We’re a great philanthropic community so this fits perfectly for us to give back when we’re in Dallas,” said Goldsmith.
Members of the Penn State Alumni organization say they were impressed with the turnout from the Bluff City.
"We have over 40 volunteers from Memphis. We have over 40 volunteers from Penn State, and so, it’s a great turnout and there’s not a lot of room here. It’s packed,” said Clifford.
These fans say if they see each other at the game, they’ll still be cordial and that they have made new friends that they didn’t expect to make coming to the Cotton Bowl.