Kamar Greenhouse made his Ragin’ Cajun debut last Saturday night, playing on special teams in a 27-3 win at Texas State.
On Tuesday, heartbreak hit.
Greenhouse’s mother, Allison Greenhouse of Marksville, died at the age of 43.
The UL athletic department has set up a GoFundMe page to help Greenhouse with final expenses and other associated monetary needs.
A plea on the page, issued to the Ragin’ Cajun “family,” encourages donations from UL football supporters, saying, “It is in times of crisis that we show the true character of our community.”
"We just really are concerned about Kamar and his younger brothers and sister," UL coach Mark Hudspeth said Thursday afternoon. "They all were raised by a single mom who worked two jobs just to provide for them, and then in her passing they don't really have a home anymore to go to.
"Not only that, there was no funding or finances for the funeral. That was something we really wanted, because they were not going to have one. We just thought that was completely unacceptable, not to be able to have a memorial service for his mom."
That's why the GoFundMe page "Allison Greenhouse Funeral Expenses" was established, Hudspeth said.
A service is now planned for Saturday, according to Hudspeth. Details are pending.
The goal of the fundraising campaign is to collect $15,000, and as of early Thursday afternoon $1,615 had been donated.
That includes funds from 21 donors in amounts ranging from $10 to $1,000, several of them accompanied by personal expressions of sympathy.
According to a statement from UL on the GoFundMe site, donations submitted through the page “are compliant per NCAA bylaws.”
Greenhouse “lost her battle with a multitude of medical ailments,” according to the site’s statement.
She was a housekeeper at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville for more than 20 years, and – according to the plea for donations – also was “the sole provider for all of her children.”
Allison Greenhouse had been quite ill for some time, Mark Hudspeth said, and when the Cajuns played at Tulane earlier this season Kamar Greenhouse got to be at her bedside while she was being cared for at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans.
From the GoFundMe page: “Kamar is the eldest of Allison’s four children and is now responsible for the funeral expenses, the medical expenses associated with her care in her final days, as well as … temporary housing, and related expenses.”
Any funds raised in excess of the support needed for those expenses will be donated to a charitable cause, in compliance with NCAA bylaws governing student-athletes, according to UL.
Hudspeth said Greenhouse's three siblings currently are living with different family members in various locales.
"They're just all having to find a way to survive," Hudspeth said. "They don't have a home, and it's disheartening when you know they can't go home."
Kamar Greenhouse, a reserve defensive back, was injured during preseason camp in 2015 and redshirted as a freshman last year.
During his senior season at Marksville High, he rushed for 413 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 13 passes with four TDs on offense while also recording one interception on defense.
UL sports information director Matt Sullivan said Thursday that Greenhouse stepped onto the field for the first time as a Cajun in the win over Texas State, playing on the kickoff coverage unit.
"Kamar has been just an outstanding Ragin' Cajun," Hudspeth said. "He's a young man who really is gonna develop into a really good player."
UL (3-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with its victory over the Bobcats. The Cajuns are idle Saturday and play host to Idaho on Nov. 5 at Cajun Field.
For questions or assistance regarding GoFundMe page donations to help Greenhouse, contact Tanya Howard from UL by phone at (337) 482-6334 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(© 2017 WWL)