Posted on Jun 5, 2001

Everyone knows that being a member of the Union College athletic community involves a great deal of dedication to both the classroom and the field of competition. However, did you know that community service is also a big part of being a Union College student-athlete?

Several years ago the athletic department began a tradition of having the teams take part in at least one community service project during the year. Here are some of the projects in which this year's teams were involved:

Volleyball participated in
“Read Across America”

The volleyball team participated in “Read Across America,” in which college students read to elementary students. The Dutchwomen traveled to nearby Slingerlands to spend the afternoon with youngsters.

Members of the football team volunteered to help the Schenectady 2000 Project in which they worked to help clean up and restore renovated housing for lower income residents. The Dutchmen also volunteered at Veeder Elementary where they worked on reading skills with third graders. The crew team joined ranks with the Schenectady City Parks and RecreationDepartment and the Stockade Association to clean and restore Washington Park and the adjacent riverfront area. Fencing and benches were painted while overgrown areas were cleared of leaves and brush.

The women's ice hockey team took part in several projects during the year. The team traditionally raises money for the Animal Protective Fireplug 500 Foundation by sponsoring “Pet Snack” at all the home games. The Dutchwomen also spent an afternoon skating with a local Brownie troop and helped shop for Christmas presents for children of low income families.

Members of the women's basketball team took park in Hoopfest 2001 in which the Dutchwomen sponosored a free clinic for 70 girls. They also invited a CYO girls team to play a five minute game at halftime of a Union game and then met with the kids and participated in a practice with the Northeast Parent and Child Society, which is a foster care facility for teenage girls.

The swim team raised $500 by participating in a 5K race for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The men's ice hockey team were involved with several projects including a Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes,” a “Stuffed Animal Toss” in which they donated over 300 stuffed animals to local hospitals that were thrown on the ice by Union College students after the Skating Dutchmen scored their first goal in a 4-2 win over archrival Rensselaer at Achilles Rink, and they raised $2,465 by donating a practice session in which they “Skated Against Cancer.” The team donated $1,000 to the local Cancer Society and $1,465 to the Coaches Foundation, which was established by Shawn Walsh.

The sports information office also got into the act as director George Cuttita and assistant Cassie Lawton (Union Class of 2000) participated in the National Groundhog Shadow Day. Cuttita and Lawton spent the day with Ben Clayman and Helena DiGiuseppe of the Mont Pleasant Junior High School.