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August 30, 2005

Contact Gary Klein at 608-796-3074 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. -- “Olympic Gold” will be the theme as Viterbo University and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse invite the public to take its first look inside the new $7.5 million Amie L. Mathy Center for Recreation and Education at a special grand opening celebration Saturday, Sept. 10.

Gold medal Olympians Jennie Finch, Aaron Peirsol, and Julie Foudy will be special guests at the event. They will participate in an Olympic-style ceremony and share their thoughts on the opening of the Mathy Center. Opportunities for autographs will also be available.

The special program and dedication ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Self-guided tours of the new state-of-the-art facility will be held from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All sections of the building will be open and representatives from Viterbo and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse will be available to answer questions.

“We really wanted to send out an inspiring message at the grand opening,” said Bill Medland, Viterbo University president. “These Olympic gold medal winners will share their inspiring stories of hard work and dedication.”

Finch is the most popular softball player in the country, and arguably the world. Her almost incredible list of accolades includes being a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, a 2002 World Champion gold medalist, leading the University of Arizona to the 2001 NCAA title, holding the NCAA record with 60 consecutive wins and winning the Honda Award as the nation's best softball player in 2001 and 2002.

“I'm looking forward to meeting the many fans in the La Crosse area and sharing my enthusiasm for what team sports can do for character development,” Finch said.

Swimmer Aaron Peirsol won three gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games and a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics. He also won three gold medals at the 2005 World Championships. He is the world-record holder in the 200m backstroke and 400m medley relay.

“The gold medal is a pinnacle experience in my life,” Peirsol said. “The La Crosse community deserves a gold medal of its own. The Amie L. Mathy Center is an outstanding example of the power of collaboration.”

Soccer player Julie Foudy won Olympic Gold in 1996 and 2004 and silver in 2000. She was a member of the World Cup championship teams in 1991 and 1999. She is also the captain of the U.S. Women's National Team and President of the Women's Sport Foundation.

“As an Olympian, I understand the importance of role models and a good support system,” Foudy said. “I applaud the tremendous potential and opportunity you are offering your area youth.”

The Amie L. Mathy Center for Recreation and Education was made possible through a historic collaboration between Viterbo University and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse and the generosity of countless benefactors and community members.

The facility will be a welcome addition to both Viterbo and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse. It will alleviate overcrowding on the Viterbo campus and allow the Boys and Girls Clubs to expand their programs and serve more area youth.

The $7.5 million 58,000 square foot Amie L. Mathy Center for Recreation and Education will include features such as three regulation-size gymnasiums, a teen center, a cardiovascular fitness room, a 1/8 mile walking and jogging track, game rooms, a free weight strength training center, computer lab, and art room. It is named after the late Amie L. Mathy, an engineer by trade and founder of Mathy Construction, who passed away in 1987.

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