ETSU athletes prepare for community service venture

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 12, 2003) - With an understanding of the importance community involvement can play in the educational experience of student-athletes, the East Tennessee State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will launch an extensive community service project during the 2003-04 school year.

With scheduled events beginning in September and running throughout the next several months, Buccaneer athletes are dedicating themselves to touching the lives of people throughout the Tri-Cities and Mountain Empire region.

"We are extremely excited about this program and what it can mean for both our student-athletes and the people they are going to serve," said Barbie Breedlove, ETSU's associate athletics director and senior woman administrator. "The goal of this program is to streamline our community service efforts. Our teams have always been great at getting involved in the community, but this way we have a singular vision and that will only make those efforts better."

To briefly explain the program, each ETSU head coach was given a list of community organizations that have requested help from the Buccaneer athletics program. Below is a list of some of these organizations and their main areas of focus.

Coalition for Kids - An organization that serves boys and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds such as single-parent homes. Ages range from elementary to middle school.

Ronald McDonald House - Provides housing for critically ill children and their families during times of hospital treatment.

Haven of Mercy Rescue Mission - Provides shelter and meals for the homeless.

Habitat for Humanity (Kingsport) - Provides housing to people that have substandard housing or no housing at all.

Boys and Girls Club - Provides activities and mentoring for boys and girls in the community ranging from ages 6 to 18.

Children's Hospital of Johnson City Medical Center - Provides medical care to children throughout the Mountain Empire.

Communities in Schools, Inc. - CIS is a school dropout prevention organization. Its purpose is to provide human resources to children at risk of leaving school prior to graduation.

Girls Incorporated - Offers a safe and comfortable environment for girls ages 6 to 16 with role models who understand girls' needs, with the goal of challenging girls to maintain high expectations for their own achievement. Second Harvest Food Bank - Has as its mission to collect and distribute food to soup kitchens and other organizations that take on the responsibility of feeding the hungry and needy.

Some ETSU teams have already selected the organization they wish to sponsor and have made plans to participate in specific activities. Listed below are some of these scheduled appearances.

  • Women's Softball has adopted Girls Inc. and will be involved in the following activities:
    Tuesday, Sept. 9 - Volunteer Activity - 4:30-5:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, Oct. 8 - Softball Clinic - 4:30-5:30 p.m.
    Friday, Oct. 31 - Halloween Party - 4:30-5:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, Nov. 12 - Softball Clinic - 4:30-5:30 p.m.
    Week of Dec. 8-12 - Santa's Workshop - daily

  • Men's Basketball has adopted the Johnson City Children's Hospital and will be involved in the following activities:
    September - One entire team visit
    October - One entire team visit
    November - Tie-in with Blue-Gold Intrasquad Game and
    December - One entire team visit

  • Women's Basketball has adopted the Children's Hospital as well as the Coalition for Kids, and will be involved in various community service projects with these two organizations throughout the year.

  • Women's Tennis will volunteer for Haven of Mercy, serving lunch on the following dates
    Wednesday, September 10
    Monday, September 22
    Monday, October 6
    Monday, October 20
    Monday, November 3
    Monday, November 17

  • Men's Tennis has adopted the Johnson City Boys and Girls Club with the intention of holding a tennis clinic to discuss similarities and differences among cultures in a tennis setting.
    Thursday, September 20 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Volleyball has adopted Communities in Schools, Inc., with the goal of mentoring children, providing leadership and serving as role models.
    Will make one visit a month during fall season
    Will make two visits a month during spring season

  • Men's Golf has adopted the Ronald McDonald House and will be working the following days.
    September 13 - 2 to 4 p.m. - Volunteering time to work inside and around the house
    October 18 - 2 to 4 p.m. - Volunteering time to work inside and around the house
    November 14 - 10 p.m. to Midnight - Work phonathon
    November 15 - 10 p.m. to Midnight - Work phonathon
    November 16 - 10 p.m. to Midnight - Work phonathon
    December 6 - 2 to 4 p.m. - Volunteering time to work inside and around the house

  • Women's Golf has adopted the Ronald McDonald House and Communities in Schools, Inc.,
    For Ronald McDonald House the team will prepare meals for families on October 2
    For Communities in Schools, Inc., players will work with individual children or a group of children on a weekly basis.

  • Women's Soccer has adopted the Unicoi County Family YMCA and the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department and will continue to be involved with Girls Incorporated in Kingsport.
    Saturday, August 23 - 9 a.m. till Noon - The team will hold a soccer clinic for kids and parents from the Johnson City Parks and Rec at the Liberty Bell Soccer Complex.
    Saturday, September 6 - 9 a.m. till Noon - The team will hold a soccer clinic for kids and parents at the Unicoi County Family YMCA

  • Track and Field/Cross Country has adopted the Second Harvest Food Bank and will work the following events.
    Saturday, August 23 and 24 - The team will help with the Race Food Rescue. The team will help in conjunction with the race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, as well as volunteer their time for various sorting, packing and distribution needs during the rest of the year.

  • Baseball has adopted the Boys and Girls Club.
    The team plans to act as Big Brother mentors on a weekly basis at the Club.

    If you are interested in helping with this new community service project or are interested in having your organization be a part of the program, please contact Barbie Breedlove at 439-8642. Media interested in reporting on these activities are encouraged to contact Michael White, director of athletic media relations, at 439-4220.

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