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Fifth Annual Ladies Football Academy, Hosted by Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team, Raises Money for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital

April 15, 2015

Women Invited to Join Kirk Ferentz, the Iowa Football Team, and Chris Soules for the Ultimate Hawkeye Experience

The fifth annual Ladies Football Academy, a fundraiser for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, will take place Saturday, June 6, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at UI’s Kinnick Stadium. Women are invited to join Hawkeye football coach Kirk Ferentz, the UI Hawkeye football team players, and celebrity Chris Soules for an exclusive Hawkeye experience.

Participants will go behind the scenes to meet the Hawkeye coaches and players, see the black and gold locker room and the infamous pink locker room, participate in actual drills and skills training, and “swarm” Kinnick field to the soundtrack of “Back in Black,” the Hawkeye’s traditional song. This year, Chris Soules, Iowa farmer and star of “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars,” will participate and help bring awareness to UI Children’s Hospital.

“We want to inspire women to team up for our future champions–our children–while having a great time,” said Mary Ferentz, chair of the UI Children’s Hospital Council. “We are excited to have Chris Soules join us to bring attention to the needs of kids like Luke, this year’s Honorary Captain, who receive critical, specialty, life-saving care thanks to our children’s hospital.”

“It is a privilege and a thrill to be associated with University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Ladies Football Academy,” Soules said. “A lot of people work extremely hard to make this event the success it is every year. I look forward to being part of such a wonderful cause in our state.”

To date, Ladies Football Academy has raised $1 million toward the construction of the new children’s hospital facility and has pledged an additional $1 million toward pediatric research.

The Honorary Captain of this year’s Ladies Football Academy is five-year-old Luke, son of Katie and Ryan Baustian from the Quad Cities. Born at 23 weeks weighing one pound five ounces, Luke spent five months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UI Children’s Hospital. Because of this highly specialized care, Luke is on course for a healthy, happy childhood. He and his brother, Jake, are ready to show off their moves at this year’s event.

All money raised by Ladies Football Academy participants benefits UI Children’s Hospital. UI Children’s Hospital has been dedicated to meeting the health care needs of children and families since 1919. As the only comprehensive children’s hospital in Iowa and the only one in Iowa ranked nationally for pediatric care, UI Children’s Hospital provides care for children from birth to young adulthood. Services range from promoting wellness to the care of general childhood illness, surgery, traumatic injuries, life-threatening and chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities. UI Children’s Hospital also is home to Iowa’s only Level 4 NICU, as designated by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As part of an academic medical center, UI Children’s Hospital also performs groundbreaking research to help solve the mysteries of childhood diseases, in addition to training the next generation of health care professionals.

For more information, and to sign up for Ladies Football Academy, visit

Media Contacts: Dana Larson; executive director, communications and marketing; the University of Iowa Foundation; 319-467-3661; mobile 917-345-9841;;

Steve Roe, Director, Athletic Communications; 319-335-9425; Mobile: 319-430-6346;

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