WKU Volleyball rallies around BG veteran to clean tornado debris

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Wendell Strode has worn many hats his lifetime- Vietnam veteran, National Corvette Museum CEO, Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce board member just to name a few. 

But, if you ask any Western Kentucky University athlete, they’d probably best identify Wendell as their biggest cheerleader, a lover of all things Hilltopper sports.

The December tornadoes damaged Wendell’s family property, but his WKU families haven’t let him down.

The WKU Volleyball team picked up debris still littering the Strode wheatfields to make way for planting season. 

“It’s really refreshing to my wife and I to have this kind of volunteer help,” said Wendell.

WKU Volleyball assistant coach Craig Bere said, “Wendell has been a big supporter of our program for so long. He shows up and is around us a ton. We thought this would be a great thing to give back to him.”

WKU Volleyball player Lauren Matthews said, “Just for us to be able to do this small gesture for him is everything we can ask for, and we’re just glad we can do it,” 

But they aren’t the only ones. Warren East Baseball, South Warren Softball and WKU Softball have all helped clear Wendell’s tornado damage. 

“We obviously like to make this more than just about volleyball,” remarked Bere. “We want to make it about their growth as individuals, and giving back to the community is something they can always take with them.”

WKU Volleyball player Katie Howard, “I feel like we’re a family off the court as well, so it means something for us to come out here and work together today.”