MASSENA — A Massena woman is fundraising to reach what she says is the opportunity of a lifetime — a chance to coach a women’s professional football hall of fame game next month.
To reach that dream, Windy DeRushia must raise money to cover her plane ticket, hotel room and food in Las Vegas, Nev., where the game and festivities will be held from Dec. 4 to 8.
As part of her fundraising, Ms. DeRushia is hoping to receive a sponsorship from a local business or individual. She’s also holding an ‘80s dance from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Massena Moose Lodge, 4 Ames St. There’s a $5 cover charge for the event, which will feature A.M. Entertainment and special guest performances. She’s also seeking items that could be raffled off at the dance.
“The dance is a fundraiser to help follow a dream of a lifetime,” she said.
This wouldn’t be Ms. DeRushia’s first professional football experience. She has also played women’s professional football, including time with the Carolina Queens in North Carolina.
“I played women’s professional football for five seasons. Now I have an opportunity to coach the women’s professional hall of fame game in Las Vegas, Nevada the week of Dec. 4th through the 8th,” she said.
She was also the first female to coach the Massena Central modified boy’s football team, and has coached the semi-professional Seaway Valley Venom and North Country Tigers.
Ms. DeRushia said she was selected for one of the 12 coaching jobs from more than 100 applicants.
“I saw it on the site one night and put my application and coaching background in,” she said.
She said she forgot about her application until the phone rang one day and it was a call from a head coach in Florida telling her that she was selected.
“I was so excited, Ms. DeRushia said.
She said National Football League players and coaches, as well as some college coaches, will be in Las Vegas for the event.
“My goal is to hopefully meet and greet with as many people as I can at the event,” she said. “I am super excited for this opportunity and proud, and hope it leads into more opportunities in the future.”