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Community Service

Student Athletes, Coaches and Administers working together to improve their campuses and communities in a spirit of giving.

AMCC student-athletes continue to be active in their communities with numerous volunteer efforts in the month of October.

For the fourth year in a row, Pitt-Greensburg women’s basketball players and coaches headed to Greensburg Wal-Mart to participate in "Project Bundle Up."  Team members joined Captain Pamela Rhodes of the Greensburg Salvation Army to help take children and senior citizen on personal shopping sprees, explain vouchers to families, and help cashiers bag purchases. “Project Bundle-Up” is a program that serves needy and disabled senior citizens and disadvantaged children, ranging from infant to teens.  It provides those in need with winter outwear. Eligibility for the program is based on economic need, and vouchers are used to obtain winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and boots for participants.

Promoting the message that early detection of breast cancer is the best road to a cure, Mount Aloysius College joined forces with Windber Medical Center’s Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center. The public was invited to the “Pink Out” Volleyball game on Wednesday, October 16th against Franciscan University. “This is always a big event for us and draws a big crowd," said sophomore volleyball player Megan Ruddock. "It is a great atmosphere to play in. There are a lot of people we know that were affected by breast cancer; so it's great to be able to raise awareness.”  More than $2,600 was raised and donated to the Windber Medical Center’s Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center.

On Sunday October 20th the La Roche College cross country team volunteered to participate in a 5k run called "Propel for Peace," held at the Waterfront. The 5k run had two different goals: one was to raise money for a community out-reach educational campaign to reduce gun-related violence; the other goal was to raise funds to sponsor a Rwanda student to come to the U.S. to study at the high school level for one year. The "Propel for Peace" 5k was organized by Propel Charter Schools, which focus on teaching elementary, middle and high school students in inner city neighborhoods and economically depressed areas of greater Pittsburgh.

Penn State Altoona's Student-Athlete Advisory Council presented a donation check to the Special Olympics of Blair County on October 22. The money was raised from efforts during the 2012-2013 school year, which included the annual Staff/Faculty vs. Student-Athletes basketball game and the first-ever Penn State Altoona Zumba concert.

The Mount Aloysius College softball team spent the day Saturday, October 26th helping out by cleaning cages and caring for animals at the Altoona, PA Humane Society.  "This was an eye opening experience to me seeing how the animals were cared for and how much these animals needed some love," said freshman Alex Teeter.  "People need to remember that a pet is a family member and needs to be taken care of as such," explained head coach Carl Teeter.


The fall season continues to be a busy one for AMCC student-athletes involved in community service.

D'Youville College student-athletes participated in a Community Clean-Up Day last weekend. This joint effort was led by Campus Ministry and the Freshman Focus class. The Spartan student-athletes raked leaves, weeded, and gardened at local churches. Others hit the streets of surrounding neighborhoods to clean up trash. A few groups of students were asked to pass out flyers throughout the neighborhood to spread the word about monthly meetings that are held to help assist in keeping the area safe and clean for its residents and those traveling through it.

The Mount Aloysius College men's basketball team were also out and about last weekend, volunteering at the Ebensburg Potato Festival. Fifteen members of the team donated 2 1/2 hours of service setting up booths and tents, and hanging signage for the annual community festival, which raises money for worthy community projects like the Ebensburg Young Peoples Center.


Nearly 100 Pitt-Bradford student-athletes and coaches from five different Panther teams partnered with Special Olympics at the Bradford bowling alley on Sunday afternoon.  Each team had their own lane for the event, and the participants were divided evenly so that no more than a few Olympians were matched with each Pitt-Bradford group.  The event marked the third year in a row the Pitt-Bradford athletic department has participated in this special day.


The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team took part in the United Way Day of Action this past Saturday, in a morning filled with assisting the city of Bradford in its charity event.  The team began the day by digging up trees for the Salvation Army at a few different locations around town. The players then took part in the “Stuff the Truck” event at Tops Friendly Market. Players gathered with signs in front of the store to hand to customers as they went inside to shop. On the sign was a list of items that could be purchased to assist in filling the truck with canned goods for the needy.  The last events that took place were painting and gardening at Grace Lutheran Church. Players painted classrooms inside the building as well as parts of the outside. A handful of players were outside digging up weeds and planting to assist the church in sprucing up their garden.

Over the course of this past week, all Pitt-Greensburg students had the opportunity to participate in numerous events that comprised "Safety Week". One of these events, National RAINN Day, took place on Thursday, September 26. RAINN Day, hosted by RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, is seen as a day of action to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses. Campuses that participate are asked to design a program for their campus community that will motivate their students and staff to take a stand against sexual violence. The ultimate goal of the program is to empower college students to educate their peers about risk reduction and recovery resources on their own campus. Pitt-Greensburg students were asked to decorate umbrellas showing their support for RAINN and their decision to take a stand against sexual violence.  The women's basketball team created their own umbrella of support.

Members of Penn State Altoona's Student-Athlete Advisory Council recently lent their helping hands to the Altoona Area School District's Mountain Lion Backpack Program. The program is designed to provide food to elementary school children in the Altoona area who otherwise may not have access to proper nutrition outside of school. The nonprofit puts "kids at the front of the line for receiving the food they need while not in school -- food that equips them to come to school Monday morning physically and mentally prepared to learn."
Every Friday from October to May, the Mountain Lion Backpack Program provides two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, two drinks, and two snacks to local children. These nutritious, non-perishable, kid-friendly food items are packed in a backpack for the weekend and delivered to deserving elementary school children in the AASD for a cost of about $3 per week.

Hilbert College student-athletes were also very busy making a difference in their community.

The men's soccer team participated in the Dash for Diversity Walk this past Sunday, September 22.  The walk is a fundraising event sponsored by the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York. All proceeds go to the NFJC, which uses funds towards programming for such issues as community-building, anti-bullying, and youth leadership.  Hawks men's soccer represented the school well, winning an award as the largest group from a single organization participating in this year's event.

At the Hilbert Criminal Justice Department hosted its annual Adopt-A-Highway clean-up party Saturday, September 28th, students, faculty and staff all joined in the effort to pick up trash and remove large items from the roadway leading up to Hilbert's campus on South Park Avenue in Hamburg.  A few of the men's basketball team players (left) moved their inside, morning lifting routine to outside and grabbed some fresh air while helping a good cause.

On Sunday September 29, the Hawks' women's soccer team participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk held in the Genesee Valley Park (Rochester, NY) in an effort to support and help the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  The squad raised around $500 in an effort to combat a public health issue that is close to the team's heart, in honor of a team member who recently lost a family member to suicide.


D'Youville College and Penn St. Altoona student-athletes have been busy with community service activities already this fall.

The D'Youville cross country team was up at 6am on Labor Day Monday to do traffic control for the "Fleet Feet 15K" in Buffalo.  The event benefits kids in the Buffalo public schools by giving them a pair of running shoes to train and compete. 
In Altoona, the Lions' Student-Athlete Advisory Council is continuing its partnership with the Special Olympics of Blair County.  The SAAC's latest effort came in participating with the Special Olympians' bocce and volleyball practices, which included freshman basketball player Markel McCloud (left) and junior Joel Redfoot (right).  Representatives from the school's SAAC will volunteer at numerous dates with the SO athletes throughout the 2013-2014 school year, as well as lend their time to other causes and volunteer opportunities.


Returning to campus for preseason camp, the Mount Aloysius College volleyball and soccer teams wasted no time in finding ways to re-connect with the community.

The women's volleyball team held a family game night at New Day Inc. for families in the community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. New Day is a Christian ministry to at-risk children, youth, and families located in western and central Pennsylvania. The team led games and activities for the families that attended as well as served them dinner. "It was a great experience being able to spend time and get to know the people who came to the event," said freshman setter Katie Reed.  "It was a lot of fun and we made some really good memories."
The men's and women's soccer programs coached a clinic for local AYSO soccer players. Twenty-five girls and boys ages 4-9 attended the clinic where they were buddied with two college players each. After stretching, working on passing, shooting and practicing their defense, both the girls group and boys group had a chance to play fun games. Senior men's captain Ryan Hills said of the experience, "There's no better way to get to know new teammates than to donate some time putting smiles on the faces of little kids."  Junior women's captain Elizabeth Josephson agreed. "Not only was this great team building for two programs looking to make playoffs in conference this year, but I think everyone truly enjoyed the clinic, kids and college players alike."

Head Coach Tyler Sheikh plans to put on more clinics in the future. "For our first clinic I'd call it a resounding success," he said. "Parents had a chance to get their kids outside. The little ones learned some new things, but more than anything they had a lot of fun. Even better, I got to see my players interact and serve as role models."