Notre Dame alumni issue charity challenge ahead of game at Virginia Tech

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) -- Carter Fitzpatrick's Irish roots run deep.

The Fighting Irish that is.

"I'm actually the first ever from Roanoke to go to Notre Dame," he said.

Though others from Roanoke Catholic School went before him, Fitzpatrick said he's the first student from Roanoke City Public Schools to attend the university.

Now, he's the president of the Notre Dame Club of the Blue Ridge, which is using this weekend's game as a chance to give back.

"The food bank was approached by the Notre Dame Club of the Blue Ridge about gameday, October 6, and their excitement for service in the community, so they're doing a service project to raise donations for the local food bank, Feeding America Southwest Virginia," said food bank staff member Anna Goltz.

They're calling it the Alumni Charity Challenge, and it's a donation drive to see which team's fan base can raise the most money for Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

Fitzpatrick said it's a way to make sure the game means more than just a win or a loss.

"What the club wanted to do was fulfill a service project and have something last and stay in the valley once the football team has played their game and left, so we came up with this idea," he said.

And though, come Saturday night, he'll be rooting for the visitors, Fitzpatrick knows the Hokies will serve as generous hosts.

"I hope the Notre Dame people find, when they travel in here from the D.C. area, Richmond area, wherever they come from, that the Hokie, the Blacksburg fans really treat them with respect and everybody has fun," he said.

To donate, visit Feeding America Southwest Virginia's website. You can also text "HT2018" to 91999 for home team donations or "ND1988" to 91999 for visiting team donations.

The drive runs through Saturday, when the two teams face off in Blacksburg.