The UNC Asheville Athletics Department hosted its annual Our Turn to Play Luncheon at the Wilma M. Sherrill Center on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  Close to 350 student-athletes, coaches and community leaders attended the event.


The luncheon’s primary goal is to generate support for the UNC Asheville Women’s Athletic Scholarship Fund.  The event honors women as champions and leaders. Wells Fargo was the presenting sponsor for the event.


Olympian Gold Medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar was the headline speaker. She enjoyed an outstanding swimming career which resulted in her winning three gold medals and one silver medal at the 1984 Olympics before embarking on an equally impressive career as a civil rights attorney.


Her speech implored young women to “Take A Stand” and set goals and achieve them by making a commitment to be the best they can be at their chosen endeavor.


At the luncheon, the inaugural Trailblazer Award was given posthumously to Betsy Montgomery for her work with swimming in the community. Montgomery, who died last year at age 88, was a prominent local swim coach who guided her daughter Mary to the 1972 Olympics. Betsy Montgomery founded the Asheville Aquatic Club in 1964.


More than $30,000 was raised for the UNC Asheville Women’s Scholarship Fund. UNC Asheville Alum and former Bulldog cross country standout and current WLOS reporter Ingrid Allstaedt was the MC for the event.