Local Philanthropist Gifts $5 Million to Drake Women’s Basketball

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Drake women's basketball team has been the class of the Missouri Valley Conference the last two years. Now, a major gift could make Drake the envy of the entire women’s hoops world.

On Monday, Drake supporter and local philanthropist Suzie Glazer Burt made a $5 million gift to the Drake women's basketball program. The school says it is the largest gift ever given to any women's basketball program in history. The money will be used in part to support the salary of head coach Jennie Baranczyk, as well as upgrading facilities.

Glazer Burt says she's making this gift in part to keep a promise to her late husband.

“The one thing my husband said before he died is, 'Suzie, you have to have fun.’ And it is because of these women, my friend Jenny, the coaches. Last month, I traveled from California, and I followed them on their tournament, and I can say I have never had more fun,” said Glazer Burt.

The Burts previously donated funds to help build the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility at Drake. A Boys and Girls Club named for the Burts will open on Drake's campus later this year.

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