U-M Athletics paid for 'Go Blue' sky art
The University of Michigan Athletics Department revealed it paid thousands of dollars to skywrite above the MSU campus last Saturday prior to the Youngstown State football game.
The U-M athletics department said they paid Oregon Aero SkyDancer $100 per slogan for nearly 50 slogans — including the “GO BLUE” in East Lansing skies — totalling about $3,000.
Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, co-owner of Oregon Aero SkyDancer, told the Detroit Free Press she was instructed Lansing was the designated area. However, U-M’s associate athletics director David Ablauf said they didn’t give the company a certain location for them to write in.
In an email, Ablauf said they paid the company to write the estimated 50 slogans across southeast Michigan. He said slogans and numbers included ‘M’, ‘Go Blue,’ ‘Hail,’ ‘Hoke,’ ‘804’ (number of team wins), ‘134’ (for Michigan’s 134th football team), ‘76’ (for Steve Hutchinson), and ‘79’ (for Jeff Backus).
“It’s another chapter in a long rivalry,” MSU associate athletics director John Lewandowski told The State News. “It doesn’t need to take on a life of its own.”
After estimating the cost it took to pull the prank, MSU Alumni Association executive director Scott Westerman decided he would raise money for the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance.
Westerman’s wife has twice survived the cancer.
Since launching the campaign less than a week ago, about $28,000 has been raised for the organization, said Pam Dahlmann, president and founder of the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Dahlmann said she expects to surpass $30,000 by Friday.
The organization was started in 2011 when Dahlmann’s mother died of ovarian cancer. The support has given the young nonprofit organization more funds than they ever thought possible.
“I had a real passion to ovarian cancer early on,” Dahlmann said. “We just feel so blessed. It surpasses anything we could make in any one year, in one week.”
Dahlmann also said it’s been more than just from the U.S. The organization has received donations from as far away as Africa.
Despite graduating from U-M, Dahlmann said she is amazed at how Spartans have reacted.
“We’re feeling the Spartan love, and as a Wolverine and a U-M alumni, that’s not easy to say,” Dahlmann said. “The blue from Michigan and green from Michigan State equal the teal of ovarian cancer, which truly shows the unity.”
Dahlmann said the organization’s mission is promoting saving women’s lives through early detection and improved treatment outcomes, as well as community outreach and education.
She urges women of all ages to visit their gynecologist if they experience the following four symptoms for at least two weeks: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full after one or two bites, and frequent or urgent urination.
Staff writer Dillon Davis contributed to this report.