CLEVELAND - The Wilmington College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) received Honorable Mention for its array of community service projects during the 2015-2016 academic year, in this year's National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA)/Jostens Community Service Awards, the organization announced January 11.
"We are pleased that our student-athletes are getting recognized for their work in the community," said Jayson Ameer Rasheed, SAAC advisor and Director of Athletic Communications. "What makes this award special is that our student-athletes didn't participate in these community projects for the recognition, but because they truly want to make a difference."
The NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Awards were established in 2001 and seek to recognize the efforts of Division III student-athletes on their campuses and in their local communities. Recognition for their endeavors is given in three categories: One Time Projects, An Array of Projects, and Ongoing Projects.
This year, the Array of Projects category, in which Wilmington College was nominated, received 25 nominations.
Last academic year, SAAC members took on three projects in a local elementary school, Denver Place. Student-athletes volunteered in the classrooms and offices, began a reading program with a second grade class, and hosted team camps. Each of these projects forged relationships and helped to develop the students at Denver.
In addition to the programs at Denver Place, SAAC implemented a community-wide project called 'Trick or Treat- So Others Can Eat.' This project collected canned goods and donated them to 'Your Father's Kitchen', a local food pantry and soup kitchen. Student-Athletes visited a number of neighborhoods in the Wilmington area on Trick or Treat night and collected over 500 pounds of food.
Vice President for Athletic Administration Terry Rupert was thrilled to learn SAAC had received this honor, "We love that our student-athletes go out and give back to the community and we were excited to hear that our efforts have been acknowledged by NADIIIAA and Jostens. We are humbled by this recognition and hope to continue making a meaningful impact in the community for the years to come."
Awards will be presented at the NADIIIAA Awards Reception at the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on January 21.
For more information on the award and list of winners, click here.