Ministry comes in many forms

Todd and PatrickPatrick Wolfkill ′89 and Todd Suessmuth ′90
Marketing and Business Administration majors respectively

It’s game time at Messiah College. Soccer fans eagerly seek bleacher seats in anticipation of what most believe will be game of the century-the NCAA tournament’s Final Four. Shoemaker Field, home to the College’s six-time national soccer champions, abounds with nervous anticipation … and the alluring smell of the infamous, grilled “cheesy dogs.”

Ten years ago Patrick Wolfkill ′89, Todd Suessmuth ′90, Troy Suessmuth ′93, and Sandy Bush, director of athletic training, began coordinating tailgate parties at Messiah men’s soccer games, seeing it as an opportunity to fellowship with friends and alumni. Since then, the effort-funded solely by its coordinators and individual contributions-has expanded to include parents of players, providing an opportunity for moms and dads to experience the deep, committed relationships formed by team members and alumni.   

Patrick, Todd, and Troy see tailgating as not only a celebration of Messiah College’s outstanding soccer program, but as a ministry. “The tailgating helps different generations of players and their families connect on a personal level. It was the spirit of giving shown to me while I attended Messiah that I wanted to pass on,” says Todd, the all-time leading scorer for Messiah’s men’s soccer team and an All-American player.

And the food’s not bad either. Who can resist the smell of sizzling cheese dogs and hamburgers on a brisk autumn afternoon? Not many, according to Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Jay McClymont ’92, who is grateful for the support of alumni and the traditions they create and preserve. “Todd, Patrick, Troy, and Sandy are great role models for our students and alumni. They have found a way to give their time and resources to serve the Messiah College community in an area of life (soccer) that they love.”

Since 2006, Patrick and Todd have expanded their outreach to include Messiah soccer fans around the globe by providing game commentary, simulcast live via the College’s student-run radio station WVMM, 90.7 FM. “The most important thing we do as radio announcers is keep the Messiah fans, parents, and alumni connected to the team when they are unable to visit Shoemaker Field. We talk about the vision of the program and how these young men are playing for something bigger than themselves,” says Patrick, who played three years of junior varsity soccer for the College.

Todd enjoys announcing as well. “Many families make sacrifices to send their sons and daughters to Messiah,” he says. “We help to serve by bringing their son’s soccer experience to them and their extended families.”

The purpose of the Messiah Business Alumni Association is to foster increased interaction and stronger relationships between Messiah’s business alumni; to serve as a resource for current business students within the same field of study; to act as an advocate for the Management & Business Department; and to develop business relationships with individuals representing public, private, and not-for-profit organizations.

Posted in 1989, 1990, 1993, About Service, Alumni, Athletics, Business, Giving Back, Marketing | 10 Comments »

Posted on February 5th, 2009

10 Responses to “Ministry comes in many forms”

  1. Mrs Wolfkill Says:

    It is nice to see Patrick and his friend Todd continue being involved with the sport and college that they love. Their excitement is contagious. They certainly are making an everlasting impression on the young men and their families. I am proud of them.

  2. Barry Goodling '79 Says:

    Great story! Thanks. Messiah soccer has a wonderful tradition of success…which is only a part of the story. Developing and maintaining life-long friendships is another part. Thanks to Todd and Patrick for keeping us connected and for adding “sizzle”–to both the games and the cheesy dogs.

  3. Jon Bassoff Says:

    For soccer alums like myself, the thing do use to be to watch a game on the perch. The Suessmuth boys, Patrick and Bushie have transformed that into now getting a cheesie dog and watching the game on the hill behind the goal. Thanks Golden Boy, Suessy, Bushie and Wolfie!!!

  4. Coyle Says:

    Ahhh the cheesy dog!! As an alumni who attended Messiah with Patrick and Todd, It is always good to know that friends are at the game. They always have the grill going and when I cannot make it to the game – the internet and radio have helped me stay connected

    See you boys in the fall


  5. Jay McClymont '92 Says:

    Hey Todd and Patrick,
    It was great serving up dogs with you down in Greensboro this past December. You have taken the recreational sport of grilling to a whole new level! I continue to share with people your regular sign off from each soccer broadcast,
    “And remember folks, you don’t have to be hungry to eat!”

    Thanks for all that you do for the men’s soccer program and Messiah College.

  6. Jacques Says:

    Ahhhh the good old days. Who will ever forget

  7. Rick Thompson Says:

    Thanks to Todd and Patrick. We love to listen to the broadcasts and are grateful for all they ways they serve us and our sons. God’s best to them always!

    Rick Thompson

  8. Gerard Marrone '10 Says:

    Suessy and Patrick have been huge for the reach of our program, and I have enjoyed being able to film next to them as they come on the road and broadcast in NY, VA, NC, FL, and so many other places. You guys rock!!

  9. Bill & Barbara Parkhurst Says:

    Greetings from San Diego. Living here has it advantages, but we are unable to make most of the games played in by our grandson’s Nick, Danny and now soon to be Logan. We are grateful to be able to listen to Todd and Patrick describe the games and to have them “shout out” to us on game day. Including aunts, uncles and cousins, the San Diego broadcasts have a pretty large fan base. If we can get some hints on the cheesy dogs, we can start a new tradition out here this fall. Thanks men, your loyalty and service is a wonder to behold.

  10. John and Barbara Webber Says:

    The food is great!
    Soccer games would not be the same without you!


Search Archives

Categorical Archives:

Monthly Archives: