Sept. 28, 2010
QUEENS, N.Y. - On Saturday, Sept. 25, St. John’s University student-athletes, coaches and athletic department staff participated in the ninth-annual University Service Day, organized by the St. John’s University Service Opportunity Counsel.
Student-athletes from the men’s basketball, cross country and track & field and lacrosse teams took part in this all-day event dedicated to helping others and serving the community by volunteering at different sites in the area.
“A tradition with our student-athletes over the years has been to have a visible and substantive role in University Service Day,” said Chris Monasch, Director of Athletics. “We are proud that our student-athletes have once again lived up to our mantra of ‘Win. Graduate. Serve.’”
Fr. Patrick Griffin, Executive Vice President of Missions and Branch Campuses at St. John’s University and member of the service opportunity counsel, opened the day with prayer before the student-athletes traveled to their respective service sites. Griffin was joined by track & field senior Kim Piard who read from the scriptures during the opening ceremonies.
This year, the men’s basketball team held basketball clinics at the Jamaica YMCA in Queens, N.Y. Members of the coaching staff joined players to help the youth in attendance with different basketball skills through a variety of drills and instruction.
The women’s cross country and track & field team went to the Astoria region of Queens, N.Y. to work at St. Gabe’s School. Head coach Jim Hurt and assistant coach Yvonne Harrison joined the team members in painting and cleaning.
“Each year this day offers a great opportunity to spend time with the team outside of cross country and track & field in a service context,” Hurt said. “When we arrived, the job looked to be a tremendous challenge, but our team went to work with brush and roller and within a few hours we had covered the walls with a new, fresh coat of paint. The day brought us together as a team as we helped others.”
The men’s lacrosse team traveled to Brooklyn where they worked at the Northside Senior Center. Joining head coach Jason Miller and assistant coaches Dan Paccione and Brian Jacovina, team members painted various rooms, ripped up carpet and applied spackle.
Serving on the Service Opportunity Counsel as the liaison to athletics, administrative assistant for Student Development and Academic Support Joanne Zissel helped coordinate the teams with their various sites. She worked with Fr. Tri Duong, Campus Minister to the Athletes, and Angela Seegel, a St. John’s campus minister.