Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:26 am
SOCCER
Audrey Warming wanted to help Omaha youth

Audrey Warming's dream was to make a difference in the lives of Omaha's disadvantaged young people.

Former Creighton soccer coach Bob Warming recalled a conversation he had with his daughter a few weeks ago when the payout for the Mega Millions lottery topped $600 million.

"We bought a couple of tickets, and she said the first thing she would do if she won was open a school for disadvantaged kids in Omaha,'' said Warming, now the soccer coach at Penn State. "She talked about how soccer would be part of the curriculum, and how I could run the program. It would be a family affair.''

Audrey Warming, 21, was killed early Sunday morning in a two-car accident in Pittsburgh. Bob Warming said his family has been overwhelmed with support, particularly from the Omaha area, since the accident.

Audrey and twin brother Grant were born in Omaha when Warming was in his first stint as Creighton's coach from 1990 to 1994. He returned in 2001 and spent another nine seasons with the Bluejays.

To honor their daughter's memory, Bob and Cindy Warming are starting a memorial called "Audrey's Shoes for Kids.'' It's an outgrowth of a project the Creighton soccer team became involved in during Warming's final season with the Bluejays in 2009.

Warming and his players held a clinic for youngsters who lived in residences maintained by the Omaha Housing Authority.

"We had a couple of hundred kids show up, and less than half of the children had athletic shoes, let alone soccer cleats,'' Warming said. "A lot of them showed up in sandals because that was the only shoes they had.

"Audrey helped us with the clinic, and she was really moved by the kids that did not have shoes.''

In the wake of his daughter's death, Warming is asking people who want to help his family to again assist the OHA program. Warming said current Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich has agreed to hold another clinic this fall.

"Neither Audrey or I won the lottery but this a chance to do something for the kids she cared about,'' he said. "Elmar and (assistant coach) Johnny Torres have agreed to help us in any way they can. The money will all go to the OHA program, first for shoes but hopefully it can expand to other things.''

Warming said checks can be made out to "Audrey's Shoes for Kids" and be sent to the Creighton athletic department.

"We'll get every kid taken care of,'' he said. "We'll make sure it happens, and hopefully something positive can come from this.''

Contact the writer:

402-679-2298, steve.pivovar@owh.com

twitter.com/PivOWH

Contact the writer: Steven Pivovar

stevepivovar@hotmail.com    |   402-679-2298    |  

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series.

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