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A Blue Demon love story

Blue Demon lovebirds
(Image courtesy of Cindy Volante)

Valentine's Day, 1976. Cindy Gawaluck, then a freshman studying radiologic technology at DePaul, scooted down a bleacher in Alumni Hall to find her seat at a Blue Demon basketball game. However, when she got to the number listed on her ticket, she found a group of young men in her place. Among them, she would soon discover, was DePaul upperclassman Frank Volante.

"I'm not sure why my friend and I even asked them to move," Cindy Volante laughs. "The stadium was nearly empty because in addition to being a Saturday night, it was Valentine's Day. Maybe I just wanted a reason to talk to him."

The group shuffled down several seats, giving the ladies their season-ticket spots, but stayed close enough for the two imminent lovebirds to keep up a conversation throughout the game. After laughing together all evening, the two decided to see each other again outside of the basketball arena.

The next few years of their relationship were spent studying in the library, debating which DePaul campus was better and swigging beers at Kelly's Pub on the weekends, a Blue Demon rite of passage. In the summer of 1981, the couple tied the knot and soon moved to Arlington Heights to grow their budding family.

"I couldn't tell you why she asked us to move, but I'm glad she did," Frank Volante says, who is now vice president of Human Resources at EN Engineering, LLC. "It's the best thing that ever happened to me."

This August, the Volantes will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, and still follow the basketball team that brought them together, their beloved Blue Demons. Their advice for any DePaul students looking for love is simple.

"You never know what's waiting around the corner, so just go with it," Cindy Volante says. "I went to a basketball game on Valentine's Day because I had no date, and walked out with the love of my life. I couldn't have written a better ending to a game if I tried."

After reading a story about Doug Bruno's recent 600th career win, the couple reached out to share their story with DePaul. They suggest Bruno add matchmaker to his résumé.  He was the person who handed out season tickets as students walked to class in 1976, without which the couple may never have met.