Lewis raises $2,000 for neonatal ICU at local hospital

With one volleyball match Lewis helped raise thousands of dollars for children who are born prematurely.

Lewis announced it raised almost $2,000 for the neonatal intensive care unit at Loyola University Medical Center as part of its Playing For Premies’ night.

The event featured a women’s volleyball home conference women’s between Lewis and McKendree with all ticket proceeds going towards the newborn unit. In addition, fans at the match could purchase purple “Lewis volleyball: Playing For Preemies” t-shirts to support the unit.


This volleyball match came almost four months after the birth of Rae Analyn Friend, the daughter of Lewis men’s volleyball coach Dan Friend and Lewis women’s volleyball coach Lorelee Smith. Rae was born prematurely at 24 weeks and spent the first few months of her life in the Loyola neonatal intensive care unit before being allowed to go home.

McKendree in the Playing For Premies match rallied from a one-game deficit to defeat Lewis in five games on Oct. 21. The conference match also feature almost 400 people in attendance, including numerous individuals wearing the purple Playing For Preemies t-shirts.

Individuals can still purchase the Playing For Premies t-shirts for $20 with all proceeds going to the Loyola hospital. To order a t-shirt, contact Friend via email at friendda@lewisu.edu or at 815-836-5447.