Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Ginny Doyle Tributes - Sept 2014: Memorial Service Date at Richmond Set

By Mel Greenberg

This past weekend marks the fourth month since the terrible tragedy down in Virginia last May in which University of Richmond associate head coach Ginny Doyle, a former Archbishop Ryan star in Northeast Philadelphia, and operations staffer Natalie Lewis died along with the pilot in the accident when the balloon carrying them at a festival near Richmond struck power lines on the way to a landing and caught fire.

The Guru wanted to make this a separate post so it did not get lost in the package of other items.

Her brother Joe and the Guru have remained in touch with each other.

Some things have been mentioned on the Guru’s twitter account, but not here.

And since some of you do not live in that world, Joe says the family is doing as well as can be expected in the aftermath of their loss.

“There are good days and then there are those days where you are hit with a memory and then you start to cry,” he said.

Several things are on tap, which are listed extensively on a note below that gets sent to family and friends on a special mailing list to which the Guru was recently added.

A memorial service date at Richmond has been set for 10 a.m., Sept. 27, which will be a celebration of life for Ginny and Natalie.

There was one on campus right after the tragedy but at that time many students and others in the UR population had already left for summer vacation. It is open to anyone.

Also, for those of you who are on twitter, you may have noticed tweets with Ginny’s handle reappearing.

They are part of a fundraising process, which is explained in Joe’s note but he previously told the Guru that he checked with several of Ginny’s colleagues in the basketball world if the move would be taken in the right way and all gave the act their blessing.

So with that said, here is the note from Joe but the Guru also adds there are talks going on behind the scenes of establishing an assistant coaching award in Ginny’s name and one for referees in memory of Bonita Spence, who died a year ago this month.

There is some interest from the high councils of the WBCA to house them there and so those discussions will continue this fall.

And now the note:

Dear Friends and Family,

We would like to send a "thank you" to all of you who have reached out to us over the past few months since Ginny’s passing. Its been extremely difficult but your support has helped us tremendously. We can’t express our overwhelming appreciation for your thoughts, prayers and shared memories of Ginny. A day doesn’t pass were we don’t think of Ginny!

I wanted to provide an update on some related upcoming activities/events.

1) Memorial Service
The second memorial service at the University of Richmond for Ginny and Natalie will be Saturday, September 27th at 10am in Cannon Hall. We know that many of you have already come to the first memorial service in Richmond and/or the Philadelphia memorial/mass. This second memorial service at the University of Richmond is open for anyone who wants to attend, but especially to the students and faculty now that school is back in session. (Many of them missed the first memorial service as school had already let out for the summer). Here is the link to the Richmond Spiders Website for more information:


2) Fund Raising Campaign
We have started a fund raising campaign using various media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc). We have tied it in with "Throw Back Thursday" (#TBT). Each Thursday we will send out an old picture of Ginny via these media outlets. We are doing this in order to convert the existing memorial fund to a scholarship fund in Ginny’s memory. I have attached a copy of the most recent #TBT picture below. To date, we have collected close to $17,000 in the Ginny Doyle Memorial Fund, but we need to get to $50,000 in order for it to be converted to a scholarship fund. Once we hit that goal, the fund would become endowed and remain in perpetuity! Each year, thereafter, an incoming freshman women’s basketball player would be know as the "Ginny Doyle Scholar Athlete.” In this regard, Ginny will always have a presence with University of Richmond Women’s Basketball Team…..and will never leave the bench at the Robin’s Center!

If you have already donated, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! If you haven’t, and would like to, I have attached a link to the online website for the Memorial Fund. Please note that with all donations, you will receive a tax deductible gift receipt from the University of Richmond. Every little bit helps! Let’s convert this memorial fund to a scholarship fund in Ginny’s name!


If you prefer to mail a donation, checks can be sent to:

The University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
Robin’s Center
Richmond, VA 23173

Checks should be made payable to the University of Richmond. In the memo field please indicate: The Ginny Doyle Memorial Fund.

We will continue to keep you posted. Please feel free to forward to other friends and family. Thanks for everything!


The Doyle Family;
Ginny (Mom), Ray, Pat and Joe

#TBT picture of Ginny and her Dad at an Archbishop Ryan (Ragdolls) Basketball game in 1987!

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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