St. John's Student-Athletes Help Make University Service Day A Success
Sept. 26, 2005
Queens, NY - St. John's held its fourth annual University Service Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Red Storm athletes, coaches and athletics department personnel were out in full force to lend a hand. Student-athletes representing many of St. John's athletic teams reached out to several area groups as part of a day dedicated to helping others and giving back to the community.
The Red Storm men's basketball squad joined the women's track and field team and the St. John's dance and cheerleading teams at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. The track team participated in clean-up efforts of the 54-acre park, while the dance and cheer team taught techniques and a routine to a group of 7-12 year old girls. The men's basketball players and coaches worked with a group of 7-11 year olds on their basketball skills.
"Saturday was a great day for our athletic program and a great way to give back to the community," said St. John's men's basketball coach Norm Roberts. "Our guys were all on hand to work with the kids, and I think they might have enjoyed it just as much as the kids did. Several of them were once in a similar position."
Red Storm track and field coach Jim Hurt added, "It was a chance to serve others, and those individuals who we served appreciated our efforts. It also gave the team an opportunity to help out the community as well as spend some time together outside of the athletic setting."
The women's basketball team spent the day at Heartshare, a non-profit special education program in Queens. The women painted classrooms where the Heartshare students with special needs work and play each day.
Jackie Smith, director of operations for St. John's women's basketball, said "We are extremely proud to give back to the community. The team was looking to make a difference and at the end of the project everyone was extremely happy with the outcome."
The women's tennis team and first-year head coach Allison Davidson visited Momma's House in Wantaugh, NY. The team spent the day visiting with 17 to 21 year old mothers and their children and sorting through donations that were collected by the organization.
Meanwhile, back in Queens, the Red Storm fencing and lacrosse teams joined Bernard Rencher of the St. John's academic support staff at the local Boys and Girls Club. There the athletes spent the day playing with and interacting with many of the area's youth.
"University Service Day epitomizes one of the reasons all of our student-athletes chose to attend St. John's - service," said Paula Migliore, St. John's Campus Minister to Athletics. "The people that benefit from the University Service Day programs really enjoy working with our athletes and coaches, but in some ways our athletes and coaches are really the ones that benefit from helping others in the community."