AMCC COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENTS
2012-13


MAY  2013

The community service efforts of member institutions were in the spotlight at the May meeting of the AMCC Presidents Council and Administrative Management Council.  Student-athletes, coaches and staff members contributed more than 5,000 hours to helping others in both local and national activities in 2012-13.  They provided labor, collected useful goods and fund raised.  The AMCC recognized special efforts in three categories with gold, silver and bronze commendations:

One-Time Event
Gold - Mount Aloysius College (Red Card Cancer Soccer Marathon)
Silver - Penn State Altoona (Special Olympics Zumba Concert)
Bronze - D'Youville College (WNY Walk for the Cure), Mount Aloysius College (Volleyball/Basketball Pink Out Games)





Ongoing Activity
Gold - Penn State Altoona (Special Olympics of Pennsylvania)
Silver - Pitt-Bradford (Care for Children)
Bronze - Mount Aloysius College (Mercy Youth Initiative)


Array of Activities
Gold - Mount Aloysius College


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APRIL  2013

D'Youville College cross country coach Bill Maloney and assistant coach Kyle Trimble recently showed not only their own running skills, but also that their hearts are in the right place.

The D'Youville College Laps for Limbs charity event was held April 28 on the St. Francis High School track, in Hamburg, NY. Participants run or walk the quarter mile track to raise money and awareness for veterans and children who have amputations. This was the second year for this event at the college and it more than doubled the amount raised, totaling $11,000, which more than doubled the amount raised last year. All proceeds will be donated to The Little Pebble Foundation and Vet's Herd.

Coach Maloney (photo left) led all participants with 33 laps completed for 8.25 miles in less than an hour's time. Coach Trimble (photo right), a recent graduate who at the time was also a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, completed 26 laps for 6.5 miles in less than an hour's time. "As a future Physical Therapist, I believe in being an advocate for people who may not have access or resources in order to live a productive life," said Coach Trimble. "These types of events raise awareness and provide an outlet for everyone to help. I enjoy running and helping others, so to combine both activities is excellent! "

Laps for Limbs was created by another Doctor of Physical Therapy student, Kristen Smith, who as an undergraduate student ran for the cross country team from 2008-10. Laps for Limbs came about from a support group meeting for amputees that Kristen attended. Not an amputee herself, she merely went to the meeting to lend support.  At the meeting it was noted that there are all kinds of runs, walks and other events in place to support many different medical issues but none existed to support amputees. The light bulb went on in Kristen's head and Laps for Limbs was born.

An undergraduate degree holder from the college, Kristen knew some of the people she should approach to obtain help for her idea. Based on the advice of Athletic Director Brian Cavanaugh, she eventually ended up in the Veteran's Affairs office, where the directors of that office, Ben Randle and Ed Draper, helped put a plan in motion, along with the Student Veteran's Association. Marshall Dornink, a Doctor of Chiropractic student, also came on board and provided additional leadership for the event.

So on a sunny but cool Sunday morning, St. Francis High School provided the track, Catholic Health – Athletic Care provided trainers and local DJs, The HitMen, volunteered to provide the music. The D'Youville Student Association lent financial support for the event. The Student Physical Therapy Association and their faculty provided volunteers, and the Student American Chiropractic Association, Campus Ministry, and Residence Life also provided participants and volunteers for the event. By the end of the day 1,145 laps were completed for 286 miles and $11,000 was raised to better the lives of some children and well deserving veterans.
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The Mount Aloysius baseball and softball teams collaborated on having some fun for a good cause when they sponsored a cookout at one of their games while collecting donations to benefit Special Olympics.  The two squads helped raise $300 with their efforts.
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The National Volunteer Day of Service was actively celebrated on April 27 by volunteers from the Mount Aloysius College men's tennis, women's soccer and men's soccer teams.  The students worked at the Allegheny Portage National Historic Site with the National Park Service. Breaking up into two groups, one worked to eradicate the non-native invasive plant species garlic mustard, collecting 15 garbage bags full and clearing approximately 200 acres of ground. The second group worked at the APRR Headquarters to remove other invasive weeds from the grounds.
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The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team recently spent time at the McKean County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).  The Panthers spent more than two hours at the facility walking dogs, socializing with cats by holding, petting and playing with them, and interacting with the staff.
“The SPCA is always looking for volunteers to help with the playing and socializing of the animals in the shelter,” said head coach Patrick Daniel. “So on such a beautiful day that we have not seen in a long time, I am very happy and grateful several of my players took the time to interact and have fun with the animals.”

The women’s basketball team is one of several Pitt-Bradford squads that have spent time at the SPCA this year. In all, Pitt-Bradford athletics has volunteered more than 1,300 hours this school year while raising approximately $1,600 for various charities and organizations.

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Penn State Altoona's Student Athlete Advisory Council spearheaded the second annual Faculty/Staff vs. Student-Athletes Charity Basketball Game, which was held on April 10 to benefit the Special Olympics of Blair County. The Faculty/Staff team played a full game against members of Penn State Altoona's varsity sports teams, and at halftime, players from the Special Olympics of Blair County basketball team had the opportunity to play an exhibition game of their own in front of the crowd.

"It was great to build off of the success of last year's event," said Student Athlete Advisory Council advisor and Penn State Altoona men's basketball coach Billy Clapper. "The Special Olympics athletes were talking this game for weeks in anticipation, and it was great to host them on our campus to take part in such a fun event."

A total of $204.95 was raised from admission sales, donations, and a 50/50 drawing. The Special Olympics of Blair County will benefit monetarily from the event, but more importantly, the experience of playing basketball in front of a large crowd in a college gym was priceless.

"To see the enjoyment that the Special Olympics athletes had while playing at Penn State Altoona was evident to everyone who was at the game last night," said Clapper.
The event was one of the cornerstones of Penn State Altoona's celebration of NCAA Division III Week, which spotlights the Division III student-athlete experience -- particularly community service.

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Penn State Altoona sports information office intern Durant Harvin, who also happens to be a member of the men's basketball team, has shot and produced a series of videos on the Lions' community service efforts. The video they are using to kick off Division III Week features women's soccer player Katy Hartigan talking about her experience participating in Penn State University's Dance Marathon (THON) this past year, a longtime Penn State tradition which raises money for children with cancer. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/WKVuhOvVMVk
Harvin also produced a second video which highlights the experience of Nicole Zambelli, the Penn St. Altoona SAAC president, who attended the NCAA Convention this past January.  Here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue-OXpJFllY&feature=youtu.be
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The Mount Aloysius men’s and women’s soccer programs, under the direction of head coach Tyler Sheikh, sponsored a Red Card Cancer Indoor Soccer Marathon at
the Altoona Summit Tennis & Athletic Club on Saturday, April 6th.

The day consisted of non-stop soccer action for 12 consecutive hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Summit’s indoor field.  Leading up to the day of the event, the members of the men’s and women’s soccer programs worked to receive both pledges and donations from the Mount Aloysius and nearby communities. The marathon of soccer welcomed all ages and abilities as children as young as 9, local high school and club players, and adults as old as 40 contributed to the cause and joined the Mount soccer teams on the field.

Though the Mount players and coaches are still collecting donations from pledge forms following the first-time event, the teams were able to raise nearly $700 on Saturday alone. Sheikh’s plan is to grow the event with a 24-hour marathon in the Fall of 2013.

“My players will remember these days as much as the wins they’ll have here at Mount Aloysius. I saw smiles throughout the day and many tired bodies at the end of 12 hours,” head coach Tyler Sheikh said following the event. “Everybody’s lives have been touched in some way by cancer. We were very happy to partner with the Summit to help such a great cause in Red Card Cancer.”

Red Card Cancer was initiated on the campus of Bloomsburg University in the Fall of 2009 as a call to action to help defeat the world's biggest opponent by uniting the global game of soccer in the fight against cancer. Its mission is “A Cure Is Our Goal.” For more information and how to get involved, visit http://www.redcardcancer.org.

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MARCH 2013

In their inaugural seasons, the Franciscan University men's and women's lacrosse teams looked to have a versatile Spring Break, consisting of competition, relaxation, and finding time to give back to the local community. On March 11 both teams and their coaches spent the morning volunteering in the downtown area of Steubenville at several locations. One group re-painted a church meeting hall, another group assisted an order of religious sister with their ministry at a thrift store, while the majority of the LAX team members bagged groceries for 1,400 families to be distributed later in the month. The men's team volunteered an additional day by helping an elderly woman with some much-needed carpentry work on her home. It was a great experience for all involved to come together and help others in need, while learning the stories of those served.
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Pitt-Greensburg women's basketball
head coach Erin Eaton and seven members of the Bobcats team team visited “Senior Life” in Greensburg in late March as part of their ongoing team community service efforts. They worked on Easter crafts with the members of “Senior Life”, talked with them through lunch, and called/helped the members play Bingo. “Senior Life” just recently opened in Greensburg and members are accepted at the end of each month. They expect to continue to grow their membership over the next few months. The team plans to participate in the “lunch buddies” program once a month going forward.
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The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team held its 13th annual CARE for Children clinic on Saturday at the Dr. Richard and Ruth McDowell Sport and Fitness Center on campus.  More than 50 children attended the event, which helps children with permanent disabilities work on motor skills, socialization and physical fitness. Members of the squad led the children in warm-up line, shooting drills, passing games and relays.
“I truly appreciate the opportunity to continue this great tradition of having this basketball clinic with these wonderful kids,” said head coach Patrick Daniel. “My women's basketball team and the kids had a wonderful time, and it was great seeing the smiles on everyone's faces."

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Members of the Penn State Altoona men’s and women’s basketball teams lent some help to a basketball clinic for area youth on Saturday at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse. Lions men’s basketball head coach Billy Clapper, along with four men’s players and two women’s players, partnered with the Central Blair Recreation Commission to provide volunteer instruction to 83 boys and girls in grades 4-6. The clinic raised over $800 to benefit the CBRC Scholarship Fund, which gives children from low-to-moderate income families the opportunity to participate in recreation activities, programs, and events.

“It was great to be able to see the clinic grow by over 30 participants since last year,” said Clapper. “The Penn State Altoona basketball programs are a gateway to making a difference in the community. Our student-athletes did a great job working with the young people, and it’s really rewarding to see their leadership skills grow through an experience like this.

After the clinic, Clapper and the Penn State Altoona basketball players spoke to the children about academic success and discussed the importance of physical fitness.
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Every Wednesday for the next seven weeks, the Penn State Behrend men's and women's soccer teams will host the TOPSoccer program in the Junker Center gymnasium. TOPSoccer is a community-based program that gives special needs children from northwestern Pennsylvania an opportunity to participate with the Behrend student-athletes to build life-long friendships while developing soccer skills children may carry with them throughout the summer.  The program promotes good health, awareness and basic soccer skills to the community's youth. For the past 12 years, the program's goal has been to pair a child with at least one student-athlete while working to develop soccer talent.

“TOPSoccer gives our student-athletes the opportunity to be active participants in providing a beneficial soccer experience for children of the Erie area with special needs,” said head men’s soccer coach Dan Perritano.
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The Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center held their biggest fundraiser of the year on March 9 and the D’Youville College softball team volunteered to assist their efforts at the Black Tie-Dye Gala. Over 500 dinner guests took part in a live auction, a silent auction, and a basket raffle. The Spartan softball team helped run the auctions and assisted in collecting additional donations throughout the event. “This was a great night to be a part of and something the team really had fun with. The Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center helps countless people and families throughout the year and we were happy to help contribute to such a great organization,” said head coach Angie Churchill. The event raised over $150,000. All proceeds benefit the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center Foundation and will assist in the building of new sensory room for the Center.

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FEBRUARY 2013

Members of the Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team were special dates at the Bradford Regional Hospital nursing home last week.  The players have made the "SNO Ball" an annual event, which is planned around Valentine's Day.

February is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many AMCC teams have been actively supporting the research and education efforts for this worth cause.

The basketball teams at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford hosted their annual Coaches vs. Cancer and Play 4Kay night this past Wednesday in  connection with their home games vs. Medaille College.  The Panthers collected donations during both contests, and both teams sported pink shirts during their warm-ups. All fans attending the games were encouraged to wear pink as well to show their support. The teams also honored fans in attendance who are fighting cancer or have beaten the disease.

The women raised money for the 2013 Play 4Kay initiative, an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is the official charity of the initiative.  The men raised money for the Coaches vs. Cancer program, which empowers coaches, their teams and communities to join the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy program and fundraising activities.

At Penn St. Altoona, the women's basketball team hosted a Pink Zone game on February 6 when they competed against La Roche College. The Lions raised over $2,200 for the Altoona Regional Hospital's digital mammography department. In addition, men's basketball player and athletic department intern Durant Harvin produced a special video to promote the event, which has been posted to YouTube: http://youtu.be/_w7fzYaKUqM

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The Mount Aloysius College softball team recently held a skills clinic for students from a local middle school who are in a mentorship program that is provided through the college. The Lady Mounties taught the students softball skills, ran drills with them, played games and encouraged them to get involved and to learn about a sport that not many of them have played.

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The Penn State Altoona women's bowling team spent Saturday, February 2 at Holiday Bowl in Altoona, providing instruction to local youth Bantam and Prep bowlers. The team shared some pointers while chatting and having fun with the children. The squad is regularly involved with helping local youth bowlers at Altoona's bowling alleys. Pictured is junior Shannel Ashby (center) with several local bowlers.
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The Mount Aloysius College women’s basketball team is working to make sure local area kids have food over the weekend when they are not in school. On the first Tuesday of each month, the Lady Mounties volunteer to help less fortunate kids in Altoona, Pa. “I Backpack” was started last year. The non-government program involves local businesses donating money and food to help support the program. The children from Altoona’s Wright Elementary School are given backpacks full of food to take home over the weekend. The goal is to make sure they have enough food to eat when they are not in school. The Lady Mounties assemble and organize enough food for each weekend meal, making sure the backpacks contain the correct amount of each item. After packing all the backpacks they then setup for the next month.

“It is inspiring to see how eager our team was to help kids in the area," said head Coach Kristi Kaack.  "We hope to continue to be a part of this program for years and hope it will expand to reach more children.”

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JANUARY 2013

On January 30th, the Mount Aloysius College men's and women's basketball teams held Pink Out games against conference rivals La Roche College. Proceeds of the game benefited the American Cancer Society.


It was another great day for the Special Olympic athletes of Pennsylvania, who received a standing ovation at the end of their exhibition game when they visited Pitt-Greensburg on Saturday, January 24. The event packed the gym and raised $1,431.00.
 

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As part of the institution's ongoing partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the Penn State Behrend baseball team provided two groups of 12 players and coaches to continue work on a home refurbishing project in the City of Erie this past Saturday, January 19. The group combined to donate a full staff, covering an eight hour work day by completing some insulation, hanging and cutting dry wall and other interior work of a Habitat for Humanity home.
"This is a simple but very effective way for our program to give back to the Erie community," said head coach Paul Benim. "Today and in the past we were able to make an immediate impact for a local family by just doing some work. It was a great day for all of us. Habitat is an organization that does some awesome things helping families."

Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates houses and neighborhoods by providing simple, decent affordable homes in partnership with families in need. In previous years with Habitat, the baseball program has built storage sheds for new homes, completed roofing, worked on interiors and exteriors of homes, and organized the Habitat warehouse. The Behrend Lions athletic staff and SAAC have also worked in the past for Habitat for Humanity as a community service project.

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On Monday, January 14 and Tuesday, January 15, the Penn State Behrend baseball coaching staff and a dozen players visited the Penn State Behrend Child Care Center, located in Knowledge Park. “I hope the kids had as much fun as Behrend baseball did,” said sophomore Shane Stauffer. “It was an all-around great experience.”  The unusual warm winter weather provided the perfect atmosphere for kick ball and freeze tag and other adventures.

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DECEMBER 2012

Mount Aloysius College sent a group of 21 students and staff members on a service trip to New Orleans to help the ongoing rebuilding effprt after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and Isaac. Two members of the group were from the athletic department: Brittany Mazur, a sophomore on the women’s soccer team and Brianna Baker, the Assistant Athletic Director and Head Women’s Volleyball Coach. During their trip the group worked on various construction and community projects including installing cabinets, painting, working at a food pantry, gardening and much more. The group got a lot accomplished throughout the week and was also able to spend time in the city and experience the culture of New Orleans.

“I went on this trip because I wanted to help people," said Mazur.  "Little did I know that it would turn into something much more than that. I was graced with the opportunity to meet 20 great people from Mount Aloysius College and to be a sign of hope for the families in New Orleans that are still struggling after Hurricane Katrina and Isaac. These people still need so much help and I’m glad that I could help them in some way, even if it was just for one week.”

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The Mount Aloysius College SAAC has collected well over 1,500 pairs of shoes and counting, destined for world-wide distribution. The shoes are cleaned and then shipped to needy people around the world through Soles4Souls.  SAAC Advisor Brianna Baker said that the Mount Aloysius SAAC effort was launched last January and has continued throughout the year.  “Our student-athletes wanted to do this initially because they noticed that they had athletic shoes no longer in use that could really help someone," she said.  "Once the program was launched, the community engaged with the project and we continue to have donations.”

Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of ordinary citizens. The charity distributes the shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has delivered over 19 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes. The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.
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For the past 24 years, SCI-Greensburg has raised money for the “Make-A-Wish” Foundation through their “Shots for Tots” program. Over the years, SCI-Greensburg has raised over $122,000 for the charity which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. SCI-Greensburg raises money for the event by raffling off autographed items, seeking sponsorships, and finding donors to submit funds for shots made during the basketball challenges.
On December 4, the Pitt-Greensburg women's basketball team was invited to be part of the “challenge” part of the day. Three of our players had a free-throw/three-point shooting competition against staff members from SCI-Greensburg, while one had their “challenge” versus the Inmate “Runner-Up” from the morning challenges. Inmates who had helped raised money for the “Shots for Tots” program were able to watch the “challenges”. Some inmates served as rebounders and passers for the “challenges”, while others charted shots made.

This year, SCI-Greensburg and the “Make-A-Wish” Foundation granted a wish to Brandon Aller. Brandon and his family were in attendance at the event.
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Penn State Altoona’s Student Athlete Advisory Council and the men’s and women’s basketball teams helped spearhead a local Toys for Tots drive at their recent home games in the Adler Gym. Marines from the 1st & 2nd Platoon from Ebensburg, Pa. were present to assist collecting toys donated by fans during the women’s basketball game on November 26 and the men’s and women’s games on December 1. The drive was a success, as fans gave dozens of new toys which will be donated to local youth by Toys for Tots.

“It is great to see the fans of our basketball programs come together to help such a great cause in our local community,” said Penn State Altoona men’s basketball head coach and SAAC advisor Billy Clapper. “We would like to thank everyone who contributed to these efforts.”
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The Pitt-Bradford baseball team played Christmas actors at the Beacon Light Behavioral Health System’s Santa Claus House December 7-8.  The Panthers gave tours, handed out candy canes, and sang carols. The players were also available for pictures as many were dressed in festive costumes, including Santa Claus, elves, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and the Grinch.

This year marks the 15th straight year the baseball team has volunteered at Beacon Light. Originally, the Panthers assisted with the yearly Haunted House for more than 10 years and when Beacon Light chose to host a Santa Claus House instead, the Panthers exchanged their Halloween costumes for Christmas ones.

The tradition of participating each year and spreading cheer to children of all ages is something the players take pride in. “I really enjoy doing the Beacon Light Christmas show because it gives us an opportunity to represent our school as well as the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of children,” said senior Derek Smith. “I hope that we continue to do it each and every year because to us it seems so small, but to others it can make their days, weeks or even years, and that's what makes it so special.”
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The spirit of giving continues in the Penn State Behrend Athletic Department with the softball team visiting the Erie City Mission and the SAAC raising money for the Second Harvest Food Bank on Thursday night.

The Behrend softball team volunteered at the “Bonkers 4 Jesus” Christmas celebration at the City Mission. This celebration is part of a series of events that seeks to build stronger connections and relationships with the children and their families from the Bonkers 4 Jesus Summer Camps. The team and coaching staff were in charge of the North Pole Pictionary, helping kids and their families draw and guess the words. The group shared in the excitement of the holidays and helped show the true meaning of Christmas. 

The student-athletes representing SAAC participated in “Bowling For Food” to raise money for the food bank. For every dollar raised turned into $17 for the local community. As the last pin fell, nearly $200 had been pledged which amounts to $3,400 in food.

NOVEMBER 2012

The Medaille College men's basketball team hosted the Amherst Youth Basketball











program on November 24.  Twenty two boys and girls played a game during halftime of the Mavericks' contest vs. Cazenovia College, followed by a clinic and pizza party.
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The Pitt-Bradford women’s soccer team recently held a “buddy game” with CARE for Children at Blaisdell Elementary School, marking the third straight year of their partnership.  CARE for Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children of all abilities.

Each member of the team was paired up with a child and assisted in a simulated soccer match in the gymnasium. The players worked with children on the basics of soccer and everyone shared snacks at the conclusion of the event.

“The CARE for Children event was a great success again this year,” said head coach Mike Idland. “It is one of the best things we do as a team all year. I really enjoy watching our team in that environment, and I'm not sure who has more fun, them or the kids.”
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As part of their season opening tournament, Hilbert College men’s basketball team took on an opponent our society has been forced to compete with for far too long. “Hawks Against Hunger” is the team’s community service project designed to raise money and awareness towards hunger. Through coordination with the Buffalo City Mission, every $1.98 raised as part of the each tournament admission fee will go towards providing a warm meal, and hope, to someone less fortunate in the Buffalo area. At the Hawks' conference season-opening game vs. D'Youville College, captains Dan McFarland, CJ Hodge, and Isaac Bushey presented a check to Sue Cervi, Director of Volunteers from the Buffalo City Mission’s Tupper Street location. Thanks to this recent fundraising effort, 60 warm meals will now be provided this holiday season.
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The Pitt-Bradford athletics department recently went bowling for a day with the McKean County Special Olympics chapter.  It is the second straight year in which Panther athletics has hosted a bowling day with Special Olympics.  In all, more than 80 UPB student-athletes from 13 different sports participated in the event. The Panthers helped support, cheer and encourage Special Olympic bowlers as they prepared for the competition.  Representatives of Pitt-Bradford’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) followed up the event by handing out medals at the Special Olympics bowling competition in Bradford.

“Having so many Pitt-Bradford student-athletes participate in this wonderful event for the Special Olympics was great,” said head women’s basketball coach and SAAC co-advisor Patrick Daniel. “Our student-athletes had a wonderful time, but more importantly the bowlers really appreciated the support and encouragement. This was a very special event for everyone.”
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The Pitt-Greensburg women's basketball team has formed a special bond with the Salvation Army in their "adopted home town.".

On Saturday, November 10, team members and coaches volunteered to ring bells for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign. The team partners with the Salvation Army on three larger-scale volunteer projects, and when the Greensburg Salvation Army was short on bell ringers, they asked the team for help. All donations collected via the Red Kettle campaign help the Salvation Army aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless during the holiday season.  The squad also volunteered to serve Salvation Army's Greensburg community at a Thanksgiving Dinner on November 19.  In all, 90 people attended the dinner. Some of their responsibilities included checking people in, serving food, helping at the drink/dessert table and seating people. After the meal concluded the team helped with the clean-up. The players and coaches also time talking with and getting to know those who had arrived for dinner.

"I think it is so important that our girls get involved in the community that is their 'home away from home' for four years," said Bobcats head coach Erin Eaton.  "We are very lucky that our girls are so eager to volunteer their time and also very fortunate that the Salvation Army has allowed us to be involved in so many projects. It has been an amazing experience for all of us."
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With the holiday season fast approaching, the Penn State Behrend Department of Athletics is making a difference in the local community as well as those communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Behrend softball team collected donations all last week, including toiletries, non-
perishable food, cleaning supplies, flashlights, clothing, and batteries to take to Sea Bright, New Jersey this past weekend. Head Coach Stacy Pondo departed on Saturday with a van full of donations and participate in relief efforts on Sunday and Monday. On her journey, Pondo picked up donations from the softball teams at IUP, Medaille, D’Youville, Hilbert, Fredonia and Thiel.

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are also looking for ways to give back. Approximately 25 members of the team will volunteer their time at the Second Harvest Food Bank on Monday. The Lions will be unloading boxes and stocking shelves in preparation for Thanksgiving. The teams have a clothing drive and volunteer at the City Mission annually, but this is their first year helping at the food bank.

The Second Harvest Food Bank is the largest nonprofit food distribution organization in northwest Pennsylvania. They solicit and distribute food to 405 partner organizations, which serve 72,600 individuals in 11 counties.

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The Hilbert College men’s basketball team is looking to help the Buffalo City Mission put warm meals on the tables of those less fortunate during this holiday season. Hawks Against Hunger is the team’s community service project taking place November 15-17 at the Hafner Recreation Center during the annual Hilbert College Tip-Off Classic. Fans attending Thursday night’s home opener against Fredonia State will have the opportunity to donate $1.98 to ensure a meal is provided for someone at the City Mission’s E. Tupper Street location. The Hawks Against Hunger effort will continue when Hilbert squares off against St. John Fisher on Saturday. Collections will be accepted upon purchasing game-day tickets prior to each of the three games being played during the Classic.

OCTOBER 2012

On Tuesday, October 23rd the Mount Aloysius College women's volleyball team hosted a Pink Out game against Shenandoah University. The Lady Mounties teamed up with the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center and other departments of the college and participated in a Pink Pledge drive. They obtained 291 signatures from women and men who took the Pink Pledge and raised a total of $2,032 for the Breast Care Center.  The event also served to educate and inform the MAC community about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. T-shirts were sold, baskets were raffled off, the gym was decorated and over 200 fans came dressed in pink.

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Penn State Altoona’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and other student-athletes took part in the campus’ annual Safe Trick or Treat on Wednesday, October 24. A total of 39 of the school’s varsity team members volunteered at the event, providing the local community the opportunity to receive candy and celebrate the holiday in a safe environment. The event gave the student-athletes a chance to positively interact with members of the community, dressing up in costume and bringing lots of smiles to the young people who attended.

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The Pitt-Bradford men’s soccer season may have wrapped up but the team continues to work together in giving back to the Bradford community.

The Panthers led gym classes at St. Bernard Elementary School for students in pre-K through third grade, teaching students dribbling exercises and other fundamentals. This marks the fourth straight year the men’s team has volunteered at St. Bernard. A total of 16 players helped lead classes over a three-day period.  The Panthers also spent time at the local Habitat for Humanity house (left) and helped with the finishing touches on the home’s interior. The men assisted in installing the wood work on the inside and staining. Last spring, they helped installed siding and venting ducts.

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For the third year in a row, members of the Pitt-Greensburg women’s basketball team and coaching staff joined the Salvation Army to help with “Project Bundle-Up."  On October 22, players and coaches headed to the Greensburg Wal-Mart to help volunteer. Members of the team helped explain vouchers to families, took children and senior citizens on personal shopping sprees, and helped cashiers bag purchases.

Each year, the Salvation Army joins forces with local merchants to raise money to fund this program. The Greensburg chapter has been serving the area since 1903.  “Project Bundle-Up” is a program that helps needy and disabled senior citizens and disadvantaged children, ranging from infant to teens, providing those in need with winter outerwear. Eligibility for the program is based on economic need.

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The Mount Aloysius College women’s tennis team volunteered for an afternoon in October by helping to get ready for the Annual Cresson Library Book Sale. They helped load boxes of books into multiple cars and trucks, and then drove from the library to the Cresson Legion, where they then unloaded the books.

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The Penn State Behrend women's volleyball team will be having "Battle Against Blood Cancer" matches this week to raise funds and awareness for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The matches are being sponsored by Promo-Specialties Inc. of Erie.  The Lions face Fredonia on Tuesday and D'Youville on Wednesday night.  Donations will be taken at the door and various items will be raffled off during the matches.  On both nights, the first 100 students at the match will receive a free Penn State Behrend spirit towel and there will also be a serving contest to win a free pizza in between the sets.

For more than 60 years, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been solely focused on people with blood cancers. Presently, more than $250 million has been committed to research across the United States and in ten other countries.


SEPTEMBER 2012


In keeping with their pledge to participate in at least two community service projects a year, the Hilbert College women’s soccer team has been good to their word.  On September 30th, the team participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in downtown Buffalo. This is the second year the team has volunteered for the walk. The American Cancer Society hosts the event annually with thousands of walkers weaving the city streets to raise awareness and money for cancer research.


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The community service spirit continues to soar in Mount Aloysius College athletics.

On Saturday, September 29th the MAC women's volleyball team literally served others by serving dinner at a fundraiser banquet in Hooversville, PA. The banquet was held to raise money for a children's orphanage in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The orphanage is funded by Western Pennsylvania's Church of the Brethren, and is the home for over 90 children. Each child is sponsored monthly and the money goes towards food, clothing, schooling and any other expenses that are needed. This banquet was held for the community, those who have gone and visited the orphanage, and individuals who have sponsored children. Coach Brianna Baker has volunteered at the orphanage over 20 times in the past eight years. She helps lead mission trips to Honduras and she has grown very close to the children. As a team, the Mounties volunteered their time and served the dinner to over 300 dinner guests. The young women passed out the dinner and desserts, kept the drinks filled and cleaned up the tables when the guests finished eating.

Along with serving others, the team was able to meet other people who have given graciously to the orphanage. They even met some visitors from Honduras and they were able to practice their Spanish skills! Along with serving the dinner, the team donated $250 towards the orphanage.

On Sunday, September 30th the Mounties' baseball team participated in the annual Project Bundle-Up at JCPenney's in Johnstown, PA. Project Bundle-Up is a joint effort of The Salvation Army and WTAE-TV. They provide new winter outerwear for underpriveledged children and seniors throughout Western Pennsylvania. On this day, the 32 MAC baseball players and two coaches each paired up with a child and took them around the store and helped them to pick out jackets and warm clothing. Senior third basemen Aaron Kovach said, "we are blessed with much good fortune in our lives, so it is very fulfilling to help out those who are less fortunate."

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The D’Youville College women’s basketball and softball teams took to the streets on Sunday, Sept. 30, participating in the 11th annual American Cancer Society’s "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" 5K Walk. "Making Strides" is the American Cancer Society's nationwide series of walking events to raise funds and awareness to end breast cancer. Nationwide, more than 270 ACS-sponsored walks occur each year to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about what we can do to stay well, and raise money to help fight the disease.

This year's "Making Strides" walk in downtown Buffalo raised a record $650,000 to help the American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with less breast cancer. This was the D’Youville women’s basketball program's first walk under the direction of first year head coach Dan Glover. “I am really proud of my team for raising the money that they did for this event. Everyone has been touched by this disease in one way or another and it’s just a great opportunity to come out here and give what we can, because every little bit goes a long way in finding a cure and saving lives,” said Glover. The team raised nearly $1,000 for the event.

The D'Youville softball team also participated in the walk, raising $2,000.

"This was our third year taking part in the Making Strides Walk and our team really takes pride in helping to find a cure, said Spartan's Head Coach Angie Churchill. "Every year we try to beat our goal raised from the year before and we really take this event as a great team bonding experience. This is a great event for Western New York and the American Cancer Society and we look forward to being a part of it every year."

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The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team assisted in maintenance projects and interacted with residents at the Bradford Ecumenical Home as part of the United Way Day of Action on Saturday.  A total of eight players took part in painting a room that is going to be converted into a kitchen, stripping the original wallpaper and adding a new coat of paint.  The Panthers also played bingo and cards with the residents, painted fingernails, read books and even sang during the four-hour outing.

“Having the wonderful opportunity to participate in the United Way Day of Action and spend time with the residents of the Bradford Ecumenical Home was a great experience for our young ladies,” said first-year head coach Patrick Daniel. “Seeing the laughs and smiles on everyone’s face during the playing of games, painting a room for a new kitchen, and just sitting and talking was something very special.”

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In the spirit of what Coach Joyce Brobeck described as “doing something for those less
fortunate,” members of the Pitt-Greensburg men’s and women’s cross country teams and their coaching staff volunteered at Otterbein Church in Greensburg during the “Feed the Spirit” program on September 20. “Feed the Spirit” is a non-profit organization that hosts dinner every Thursday night for anyone in need. The team volunteers passed out free clothing, household items and personal hygiene products to all those in attendance. They also served dinners and helped with clean up.

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Members of the Mount Aloysius College men's basketball team recently donated their Friday afternoon to clean up a local park. The coaches and players repainted the backboards, rims, posts and court markings on the basketball courts at Mitchell Park in Jackson Township, Pa.  The team also pulled weeds from the surrounding fence, mended the court's broken gate, and put new nets on the baskets.
Mounties head coach Lance Loya and several of the players had conducted a free basketball clinic at the park earlier this summer, and noticed the park was in need of some attention.  "After the we did the clinic, a couple of the guys commented that we should try and clean up the courts. I spoke with the township's supervisors, and volunteered our team's services to do the project. A lot of kids visit that park, and I am glad our team was able to give back to the community," Loya said.

In addition to cleaning up the basketball courts, the players also scrubbed and power washed the equipment at the court's adjacent playground. "We had a lot fun with this project. It is great that we were able to clean up the playground and give the local kids a nice court to play on," freshman forward Nate Figart said.

The costs of the paint and other supplies used for the project was covered through the team's fundraising efforts.

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