Jan. 14, 2010
University of Louisville student-athletes each year, collectively, spend over 5,000 hours in community service, and the 2009 fall semester was no exception.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is composed of a minimum of two athletes from each U of L sports team, hosted a Halloween carnival at two of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Louisville. Over 75 student-athletes and 150 children participated in the event which included "mummifying" the kids in toilet paper, pumpkin bowling, cookie decorating, musical chairs, pin the nose on the pumpkin, and other carnival type games.
SAAC member Michael Eaton
from the Cross Country team said, "This service event is a favorite among the athletes because we just get to hang out with the kids and be goofy. It's fun for everyone and we get to reach a lot of kids."
For Christmas the SAAC hosted a holiday party at St. Joseph's Children's Home. The home provides residential care and support to abused and neglected children waiting to be placed into the foster care system. While the boys opted to play board games, dodgeball and basketball with the student-athletes, the girls could not get enough of the cheerleading team and were determined to learn every cheer. The night ended with the popular cookie decorating contest.
"These kids all come from very difficult backgrounds and to see how excited they were just to see us was the best part of the night" said U of L cheerleader Dana Metzler. "I feel like I really helped some of these kids have a better time around the holidays and it made me appreciate all the blessings I have in my life."
Some Rowers giving valuable tips during pumpkin bowling
In addition, the SAAC had all the student-athletes collect can and dry goods for Thanksgiving. The can/dry foods were organized with donated hams and ten baskets were provided to needy families in the Louisville community. The student-athletes were able to deliver these baskets to the families' just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The SAAC also collected personal hygiene items (shampoo, razors, etc.) that were able to be provided to Wayside Mission, to several churches, and other local organizations. The large collection that the student-athletes were able to bring to these organizations was such a blessing. Dr. Holly Sheilley, Assistant Athletic Director and Co-Advisor to the SAAC commented, "To see our student-athletes continue to give back to our community is such a blessing. They do more than just talk about what they could do, they do it!"