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Field Hockey Alums Fight Poverty at Robin Hood Foundation

Photo: Krissy Sudano, left, and Lindsay Carroll work for the Robin Hood Foundation in New York.

Krissy Sudano, left, and Lindsay Carroll work for the Robin Hood Foundation in New York. (Photo: Jim Samalis)

The athletic careers of former AU field hockey players Krissy Sudano and Lindsay Carroll didn’t overlap, but the two are teammates in the truest sense of the term.

Both now work for Robin Hood, a charitable foundation dedicated to fighting poverty in New York City. As managing director of leadership gifts, Sudano ’93 is a major reason the organization already has raised more than $170 million for the next two years—the most in its history.

“It’s a big challenge, but we’re all really competitive people,” she said of raising money in the current economic climate. “I love working for Robin Hood because we’re able to really effect change. We’re moving the needle in fighting poverty.”

After her years as a forward on the field hockey team, Sudano worked on Capitol Hill and then at the United Nations before moving to Robin Hood four years ago. While there she heard from a woman she had never met, but in a way already knew.

“I was always interested in what the field hockey alums ended up doing career-wise,” said Carroll ’06, who worked in the AU athletics department for a year and a half after graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. “I heard that Krissy was working at Robin Hood, so I called her up out of the blue. I was really nervous, but she was so warm and helpful and friendly. The day we spoke, my current job opened up.”

As the organization’s events coordinator, Carroll works almost exclusively on planning Robin Hood’s annual gala, one of the biggest in the city. It can be stressful, but Carroll, who never thought she’d work in event planning, enjoys it.

“When you’re so connected to the cause it makes all the angst and frustration leading up to it worth it,” she said.

In May, more than 3,500 guests enjoyed dinner and entertainment from host Jon Stewart and the musical group Black-Eyed Peas. They opened their wallets as well—the event brought in more than $72 million.

That money will go directly to the 240 poverty-fighting organizations Robin Hood funds. The organization gives grants to nonprofits in early childhood development, education, lower income victims’ services, mental health services, and more. In 2008, Robin Hood gave more than $90 million to its grantees.

Both Sudano and Carroll say they feel a kinship because of their AU field hockey roots. Before they had ever met, Sudano travelled to watch Carroll’s 2005 team play in the Elite Eight. Once they started working together, they quickly became friends, hanging out in New York with Sudano’s former teammates, many of whom she’s still close with, and watching AU basketball.

“I am forever grateful to Krissy,” said Carroll, who will run her second New York City Marathon this fall, leaving her just 8 shy of the 10 Sudano has completed. “She really has taken me in under her wing.”

With one simple final comment, she sums up her experience both at Robin Hood and as an AU field hockey alum.

“It’s such a family feel.”