Here’s a chance for an autographed ball from your NCAA National Champion Cardinals

Auction on April 19 to benefit medical student mission trips features basketball signed by men’s team among other items

Don’t have enough University of Louisville Cardinal NCAA National Championship memorabilia yet? Here’s your chance for more. A basketball signed by the players of the NCAA National Champion Cardinals will be among the items auctioned this Friday at Bluegrass Brewing Company East in St. Matthews, 3929 Shelbyville Rd.

Proceeds will help fund medical mission trips this summer to Kenya and Ecuador by medical students of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The live and silent auction events get underway at 6 p.m., and first-year medical student Ahmed Farag said a variety of items will be available to bidders. “We’ll auction off tickets for several individual Cardinal football games next season, gift baskets from a number of area vendors, gift cards from companies such as Best Buy and more, and a lot of other items,” Farag said.

“We worked to get as much variety as possible in the auction items so we could appeal to all tastes. “But, speaking as both a current student and UofL alum” – Farag earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from UofL – “I believe the autographed basketball will be the top draw of the auction.” Funds raised by the auction will help pay for medications and supplies that UofL students will need to treat patients while on mission trips to Kenya and Ecuador in the summer.

Each year, UofL medical students volunteer their time – and pay their own way – to medically underserved nations to provide care under the supervision of a volunteer physician and other professionals. No tax dollars are utilized for these trips; all other expenses associated with the trips are covered by the organizations that sponsor them along with donations and gifts. During the trips, the students will see upwards of 1,000 patients, many of whom travel a great distance to receive the care they provide.

Most of the diseases and conditions they encounter are easily preventable in the United States, but because of poverty and lack of access to medical care, many people in these regions die from diarrhea, malaria, untreated wounds, upper respiratory tract infections and more. In many cases, the care provided by the UofL medical student team is the only health care patients receive, making it crucial for those who receive it. In return, students say they get valuable clinical experience and a new perspective on and compassion for patients. “I know I will have a chance to get first-hand experience in treating conditions there that I won’t see here (in Louisville),” Farag said.

Tickets to the family-friendly event are $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Live music and food and drink specials also will be featured. Auction items and cash donations are still being accepted, Farag said; to donate items, contact Shannon Hallinan at 937-609-4542 or; to donate cash to the mission trip effort, visit the group’s PayPal link at