Virginia ( Ginger ) Kuhlmann was a groundbreaking athlete who excelled in two sports during the pre- Title IX era at Bennett High School.
She played one year of Pre-Title IX basketball, and two years of varsity tennis. Quite an accomplishment at a time when there were no girls interscholastic sports in the Buffalo Public Schools.
Ginger transferred to Bennett in 1971, after two years at Holy Angels Academy. At Holy Angels, Ginger played two years of Monsignor Martin basketball and varsity tennis, plus participating in intramurals and the Ski Club. Ginger brought her knowledge of basketball to help Bennett’s “uncoached”, pre-Title IX basketball team to a 11 win, 2 loss season. She excelled in defense, rebounding and leading the fast break offense, while scoring 7.7 points per game.
In the spring of 1972 Ginger broke the all male barrier becoming the first female on the varsity tennis team at Bennett. As a junior Ginger played at first doubles, helping Bennett to an 11 – 0 record in Dr Bapst league play. As a senior, Ginger played at second singles, helping the Tigers to an 8 win, 3 loss season.
After high school, Ginger attended college for one semester, then started to travel. her first adventure took her to Israel in 1973. There she lived on a Kibbutz for 6 months, ultimately becoming a lifeguard at the swimming pool. She then completed 3 years at SUNY Buffalo. In 1977 she moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. There she opened a painting and wallpapering business that is still in operation today. While there, Ginger became an avid skier and made her first skydive. She now has accrued over 6,500 jumps. She was part of the organizing team that still holds the Guinness Book of World records for the largest formation, made with 400 people from 28 countries, to celebrate 60 years of Thailand’s reigning monarch. Ginger holds 6 world records and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Breast Cancer research. In 2008 she organized a 125 person skydiving event in Ecuador, S.A. under the auspice of her good friend and student, the First Lady of Ecuador, to raise money for underprivileged children.
Ginger has traveled to all 7 Continents, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to 19, 341 feet, has over 300 scuba dives around the world and had snow skied at the best of resorts. These days, the well travelled and well rounded Ginger Kuhlmann plays ice hockey, fishes, rides bikes and of course, jumps out of perfectly good airplanes.