Day Four of D3 Week brings awareness to the wonderful community service projects our student-athletes have been working hard on all year as the conference office announces the winners of the 2017-18 community service awards. There were two categories in which winners were chosen -- One Time Events and Array of Events.
One Time Events
Gold: La Roche College | We Wear Gold for Leo
On October 7, the La Roche College soccer teams had a special guest on the sidelines. Leo Zambori, a first grade student battling leukemia, served as honorary captain for the Redhawks' men's soccer team. In addition to naming Leo an honorary captain, the soccer team did a t-shirt fundraiser in Leo's honor (gold t-shirts were sold). Members of the soccer team, along with Leo, delivered the proceeds ($500) and Halloween activity bags to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Oncology Department, where Leo receives his chemo treatments.
Silver: Penn State Behrend | Goals for a Cause to Benefit Grady's Decision
The women's soccer team solicited pledges prior to the season for each goal they scored throughout the season in order to raise money for Grady's Decision. Grady's Decision is a non-profit organization created to help families experiencing premature births, as well as those families with children needing specialized medical attention. Grady's Decision can assist with parking costs, food, housing near hospitals, and transportation needs. The Behrend women's soccer team raised over $5,800 through their pledges during the 2017 soccer season.
Bronze #1: Franciscan University | Dig Pink Rally
The Franciscan University women's volleyball team hosted a successful Dig Pink Rally and was honored by the Side-Out Foundation for its fundraising efforts. During the 2017 Dig Pink Rally, the Lady Barons raised $2,642.80, surpassing last year's total by almost $400. The Lady Barons have raised $7,628 over the last five years for the Side-Out Foundation. The Side-Out's mission is to inspire science and hope in the match against breast cancer. Stage 4 breast cancer is the most advanced form of the disease yet the least funded area of research. With the help of the donations of fundraiser's like Franciscan's, the foundation is supporting the development of treatments that are giving stage 4 breast cancer patients more quality time with their families. Money from Franciscan's Dig Pink Rally also went to the TEAR fund, a local organization that helps families of those going through cancer treatments.
Bronze #2: Medaille College | SPCA Night
The Medaille College sports management department and men's basketball team teamed up for SPCA night on November 15. They held a 50/50 raffle, staffed a donation table, and auctioned off an autographed Buffalo Sabres hockey stick with 100% of the proceeds going to the SPCA. There was also a staff member there from the SPCA to hand out literature and answer any questions from fans. The Mavs had fans donate items such as newspapers, leashes, collars, pet food, and money to the SPCA of Erie County to help rescue animals and help them get adopted.
Array of Events
Gold: Pitt-Bradford | Student-Athletes Assisting Local Nursing Homes & Residents
Pitt-Bradford student-athletes have spent many hours this school year volunteering their time with the local elderly. The Panther softball team got things started in November when they helped at the Bradford Manor Veteran's Day Harvest Dinner. Team members helped serve 300 meals to the residents and their family members, as well as assisted with set-up and clean-up. Several softball players even gave some of the residents manicures. Additionally, the baseball and wrestling teams attended the Sno-Ball Dance at the Bradford Nursing Pavilion. They enjoyed a night of dancing with nursing home residents, good food and music. Rounding out the school year, members of the Pitt-Bradford SAAC delivered and surprised 100 nursing home residents at the Bradford Ecumenical Home with succulent plants for the Easter holiday. The student-athletes brought many smiles to the faces of the residents at the nursing home as they interacted with them while delivering the beautiful plants. Additionally, members of the men's soccer team lent a hand to a local senior resident to help winterize her property. In preparation for the winter, the players raked and mulched the leaves, mowed the grass and cleaned out the gutters.
Silver: D'Youville College | Raising Money for Cancer
The D'Youville College student-athletes have been extremely dedicated to raising money for different cancers over the past several years and this year was no different. The women's volleyball team hosted their fourth annual Dig Pink Game on October 11, assisting in raising funds for breast cancer research. The women helped raise funds for the Side-Out Foundation by selling t-shirts and pink bracelets. The men's basketball team hosted their annual "Gold Game" on January 24 where all proceeds went to the Go 4 The Goal Foundation, a foundation known to help kids with cancer achieve their goals. Players showed their support by wearing gold shoe laces, while funds were raised during the 50/50 ticket raffle also through a gold t-shirt raffle. In the women's basketball final home game of the season, the D'Youville women's basketball team put on their annual Play4Kay Game in an effort to raise funds for the Kay Yow Foundation. The team was able to raise money for the foundation through the Play4Kay Free Throw Challenge where fans could donate money for every free throw made by the team in the month of February.
Bronze: Hilbert College | Special Olympics
The Hilbert College athletic department spent many hours this year supporting their local Special Olympics organization. In the fall, the baseball team volunteered their time bowling with the Special Olympic athletes. The baseball players helped track scores, served refreshments, and even found time afterwards to spend time and connect with the participants. In addition to bowling with the athletes, Hilbert student-athletes also helped nearly 40 Special Olympic athletes at a basketball clinic on campus. The athletes ranged in age from 10 to 50 and put their skills to the test through a variety of basketball skill stations.