The tailgate included games such as mini putt, basketball free-throws and corn hole. Canisius also had a free raffle and prizes were announced every half hour throughout the tailgate. The Dining Hall also transformed into a Golden Griffin community with a DJ playing loud music and voicing facts regarding decisions made in the social landscape of higher education, special breakfast burritos, non-alcoholic mimosa’s, and decorations to make everyone’s lazy Saturday a little more exciting.
Canisius had an incredible number of 200 members that attended the tailgate all across the student-athlete community and the regular student body. The tailgate gave the student-athletes a chance to learn about the MAAC Choices initiative and to bond with each other through a fun event. Following the tailgate, shuttles drove individuals to the Men’s Basketball game. The crowd was excited to cheer on the Griffs after attending the tailgate which not only got them motivated, but also educated them to make smart choices throughout the remainder of their undergraduate endeavors.
Over the Christmas break Chanel Davis, member of the Women’s Rowing team and Julia Mullican, member of the Women’s Soccer team at Canisius College participated in the Winter Service Week through the Campus Ministry. Chanel and Julia along with seven other students and a faculty advisor spent the week of January 8 to January 14 in Saratoga Springs, NY at the Ndakinna Education Center. Each day of work began at 8:00 a.m. and ended around 8:00 p.m. They spent their time learning about the Northeast Native American history, culture, nature conservation, basic wilderness survival, and animal tracking. Chanel and Julia also completed various office projects, served at a soup kitchen, and made flower planters out of newspaper for an elementary school’s conservation education program. Chanel and Julia built friendships within their project teams through playing games, making meals, snowshoeing, and learning Jiu Jitsu and kick boxing.
The goal of the service week was to teach principles of indigenous arts of life, team building, and character development. Chanel and Julia learned about spirituality, simplicity, solidarity, and social justice by immersing themselves in a culture different than the one’s they are normally accustomed to. Although the break may have been a time of relaxation for many people, Julia and Chanel took it upon themselves to continue serving others, and enhancing their experiences to become even more well-rounded individuals than they already are.
Over winter break, running became something much more than just getting in shape for the Iona College Women’s Lacrosse team. The team participated in Yards for Yeardley, which is sponsored by the One Love Foundation.
John and Sharon Love founded the One Love Foundation in memory of their daughter Yeardley Love. Yeardley Love had just finished her last lacrosse season at the University of Virginia and was only a few short weeks away from graduation when her boyfriend beat her to death. The One Love foundation aims to keep the memory of Yeardley alive by working with young people across the country to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse. Iona's Women’s Lacrosse team had previously participated in a workshop called “Escalation” where they learned more about these warning signs and what to do if you find yourself in a bad relationship or you see your friend in one.
Another program the One Love Foundation has created is Yards for Yeardley. Sports teams across the country pledge to run 1 million yards in 30 days, as another way to turn something tragic into something that will help other college students. In the four weeks over winter break, the team ran 2,239,552 yards. In their final week of tracking how much they ran, Iona was ranked second in the nation in yards. Yards for Yeardley is something that they have participated in since 2014. It has taught the team the importance of speaking up when you see something that isn’t right.
On Tuesday, January 10 the Marist College Women’s Basketball team made a trip to the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie to play basketball and socialize with the kids. This trip brings the total number of hours that Marist student-athletes have spent at the Children’s Home since the beginning of this academic year to over 200. The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie strives to empower and care for the at-risk youth of our community by providing residential support and services. They have been operating since 1847, and the relationship between Marist College student-athletes and the home continues to grow each year.
On Saturday, January 21, members of the Marist College Women’s Soccer program visited the Armory Center in Newburgh to do crafts and socialize with the children in the area. The team will be continuing to spend time at the Newburgh Armory Center throughout this semester as an effort to contribute to the community and the mission of the center. The Armory aims to be an instrument of civic engagement and a promoter of unity among people of diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds, and conditions. They aim to provide the youth of Newburgh and surrounding areas a fun and safe place to learn and play through a variety of programs and activities.
The trip to the North Haven elementary school has become one of the most highly-anticipated events during the student-athletes' busy season.
"Giving back to the community and helping these kids – that's what it's all about. I remember when I was younger, people did the same thing," senior defenseman Joe Fiala said, "It got me involved with hockey and made my day a lot better and made my whole school day fun."
After joining the elementary students in the gym for a pep rally to kick-off the day, the Bobcats took turns introducing themselves and explaining to the assembly – comprised of kindergarten students through sixth graders - where they were from and the position they played for the Bobcats, the team divided up for more one-on-one time with the children.
Some student-athletes joined the Green Acres kindergarten students in drawing pictures and coloring, while others went into classrooms to take question about their lives as student-athletes and to read books to the students.
"I think that just being able to interact with all the kids is always fun." assistant captain Tommy Schutt said. "I got to read Dino-hockey today … so it was a good time."
The elementary students came eager with questions and crayons.
The students asked the Bobcats everything from where they were from around the globe, how the season was going, and wanted to how the Bobcats didn't get tired while skating around the ice for so long.
"My favorite part of the day was the drawing." Fiala said, "I haven't been drawing in a long time so it's actually nice to get the rust off."
Pirate ships, hockey players and colorful houses all made their way to the drawing paper as the Bobcats quickly reverted back to their younger years with every picture made.
Quinnipiac mascot Boomer the Bobcat received the biggest ovation of the day when introduced to the assembly to start the morning festivities and continued to get the kids excited throughout the rest of the morning, delivering high fives to every Green Acres students.
Participants had the chance to work on some of their basketball skills such as dribbling, defense, rebounding, etc. and then had a questions/answer session with the team. All participants were given free tickets to that evenings men’s basketball game.
Teams hosted a questions and answer session with the students, gave a brief presentation about what it meant to be a college athlete, played some shooting games with the participants and the visits ended with an autograph session.
SAINT PETER'S UNIVERSITY
On Wednesday, January 25, some of the members of the Volleyball team went to the University’s Campus Kitchen and prepared food meals for the less fortunate. They walked away with some shirts as a thank you for their hard work.
On Tuesday, January 24, the Saint Peter's Bowling team volunteered at the Saint Peter's Campus Kitchen. They helped make soup for 84 people. They also made salad platters, chopped up lettuce, and tomatoes. They cooked ham, bacon, and pork chops. They also helped Campus Kitchen prepare and deliver food to members of our community in need.