Like all students at The University of Scranton, student-athletes on the 19 intercollegiate athletics teams have embraced the University's dedication to service and a concern for the common good. As NCAA Division III Week continues, the spotlight shines even brighter on the community outreach performed by student-athletes at The University of Scranton and other Division III institutions across the country.
Here's a look at some of the community service and outreach performed by University of Scranton student-athletes this year:
- The men's and women's swimming & diving teams took part in Safe Trick-or-Treat in the Byron Center on Oct. 29, providing arts, crafts, and candy to younger students for a safe way to trick or treat. During intersession, the teams held free hour-long swim lessons for students from the NHS School in Scranton, which offers services to children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (NOS) and Asperger's Syndrome. On Jan. 26, team members taught water aerobics to a group from The Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which provides services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And on Feb. 19, team members coached Special Olympic athletes in between sessions at Landmark Conference Championships.
- Men's soccer participated in the annual Red Card Cancer Game on Oct. 8 against Susquehanna, as the teams raised more than $700 for the Kimmel Cancer Center while wearing Red Card Cancer shirts during warmups. Freshmen Patrick Prinner (Wilton, Conn./Wilton), Nick Kapelewski (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury), Riley Smith (New Hope, Pa./New Hope Solebury) and Jonathan Roberts (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata-Somerville) also participated in the Challenger Soccer program at Riverfront Sports Complex on Feb 18. Challenger soccer is a program designed to help mentally and physically handicapped children and adults participate in sports activities.
- Women's lacrosse senior Meghan Kerr (Warwick, N.Y./John S. Burke Catholic) and junior Dana Siepietowski (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) and former teammate Alyssa Farrell volunteer with a youth lacrosse organization to teach the sport to boys and girls in grades 3 through 7. The women's lacrosse team also ran in the Race for the Cure in September, which raises money to help in the fight against breast cancer. The team also made holiday cards for the residents at St. Joseph's Center in Scranton, which provides residential and outpatient services to persons with developmental disabilities. And the team is currently collecting donations and money for Nurse for Newborns, which provides supplies to single mothers in the area who are in need. Donations will also be collected at the April 8 game against Moravian at Fitzpatrick Field.
- The baseball team volunteered at the Old Forge Felittese Festival in September, as well as Ed Randall's Fans for the Cure organization, which promotes awareness and education about prostate cancer.
- The women's tennis team will participate in Relay for Life on April 21. The event benefits the American Cancer Society.
- The men's basketball team volunteered with set up and directing runners and walkers on the course at the Ronald McDonald House 5K Race & Fun Walk in Scranton on Sept. 25.
- The women's soccer team held a youth clinic for the Tri-Boro soccer club in Old Forge on Oct. 17. During the 90-minute clinic, players led approximately 50 youth soccer players through fun and educational soccer drills. This past fall marked the sixth year the soccer team has held the clinic.
- The softball team will hold its annual Strike Out Cancer game on April 18 to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
- The men's and women's golf teams will perform its annual community service project at Glenmaura National Golf Club in early May, helping with maintenance and improvements of the facilities at the team's home course.
- The women's volleyball team raised money for the Go 4 the Gold organization, which raises money to fight childhood cancer, and for Drive for Autism. And the team also donated clothes to the Salvation Army.
- The men's lacrosse team volunteered to help with set up and break down at the University's Back-to-School Bonanza on Aug. 21. The team also volunteered unloading at the Valley View Terrace in Scranton on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 20). The team also has volunteered once a month since December to help unload, pack bags and distribute food to families at the Adams Elementary School in Scranton. And, of course, the team held its annual HEADStrong Lax Mustache Madness campaign, growing mustaches in the month of November while raising money for the HEADStrong Foundation, which helps raise awareness and fight cancer. The team raised more than $7,500 and won the national "stache-off" in the final week of the campaign.