As the AMCC Athletic Management Council meetings wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner Donna Ledwin announced the winners of the 2016-17 community service awards. There were two categories in which winners were chosen -- One Time Events and Array of Events.

One Time Events

Gold #1: D'Youville College Volleyball Team's Service Trip to Nicaragua
The women’s volleyball team went on a service trip to Nicaragua where they held volleyball clinics for children. The team served a very poor demographic in Nicaragua. They also volunteered at Manos Unidas, which is a organization that where adults with disabilities come to work by making purses. They also volunteered for Carizal English Classes, Escuela Adelante and Biblioteca Mobile which were all working with youth. They also donated athletic supplies, medical supplies, and books to the youth they worked with. They impacted children by helping them read and learn English. They also provided companionship and assistance to adults with special needs.  For this service, they were awarded the highest award at D’Youville for service on campus.They impacted children by helping them read and learn English. They also provided companionship and assistance to adults with special needs.  For this service, they were awarded the highest award at D’Youville for service on campus.

Gold #2: Pitt-Bradford Service Trip to Costa Rica
Earlier this month 20 Pitt-Bradford students and members of the athletic training staff went on a mission trip as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes that made a difference in the lives of local communities and led to a life changing experience for themselves.  They worked on construction projects such as painting, installing floors in improvised areas of Costa Rica.  Their participation in the feeding program helped ensure healthy minds and bodies for the children.  The Costa Rica kids gained a positive alternative to hanging out on streets when the Pitt-Bradford athletes and athletic trainers brought their love to sports to extracurricular activities.  The Pitt-Bradford students taught them that fitness, self-confidence and behavior is vital for future success. 

Silver #1: Franciscan University Softball Miracle League
The 13 member softball team participated as a buddy at each Miracle League game throughout their season.  As a buddy, they were there to protect the players from balls, assist them in batting and running the bases, and to be an on-field friend. The team was able to share the game that they love with those who may have developmental needs and help them experience socialization they may not normally get. The need for community with the athletes of the Miracle League is extremely important as it helps to build their confidence and sense of belonging. Sport is the great equalizer and the softball team was able to reach common ground with many different athletes through the Miracle League. 

Silver #2: Hilbert College Anti-Bullying and Suicide Prevention
The women’s soccer team sold 50/50 tickets at three Buffalo Sabres games and raised more than $4,000 that was funneled back into the Gregory D Foundation. The Gregory D Spring foundation focuses on bringing bullying prevention to the forefront and suicide prevention awareness programs. The family looks for individuals who are known for their kindness; for those who hurdle their obstacles as they demonstrate perseverance and for individuals who work hard to accomplish their best without quitting in spite of difficulties and discouragement. 

Bronze #1: Mount Aloysius College Soccer West End Improvement Project
45 members of the Mount Aloysius men's and women's soccer teams participated
in a community service project in connection with the West End Improvement
Group in Johnstown, PA. The Mounties helped weed and mulch the West End
Community Gardens to prepare the area to grow vegetables and plants this spring
and summer for the local community. Another part of the group cleaned,
painted and fixed Fairfield Avenue's Oakhurst Playground in the city. This is the
second consecutive year the Mountie soccer teams have participated in the
project with West End and they plan to make it an ongoing partnership.

Bronze #2: Medaille College Freshman Orientation Cancer Care Kits
During preseason orientation, 75 student-athletes put together cancer care kits to benefit children at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.  The kits included things like coloring books, stickers, candies and hand written notes by the student-athletes.

Array of Events

Gold: Mount Aloysius College Overall Team Community Service
Every single sports team at Mount Aloysius College performs at least one community service project every year and several of them do more than one each year. 13 teams completed 17 different projects this academic year. There were also over 100 projects in which student-athletes were participants with other groups and organizations on campus. Most of these projects were within a 50 mile radius of our campus, such as the West End Improvement Group in Johnstown, and some were as far away as New Jersey and Guyana.  A sampling of the projects included:
Men’s Basketball - Coaches vs. Cancer
Women’s Volleyball - Pink Out volleyball game
Women’s Basketball - Mountain Lion Backpack
Softball – Travel team clinic, basket donation for child with leukemia
Baseball - Project Bundle-Up
Men’s Soccer - 3k Veteran’s Run, West End Improvement Group
Women’s Soccer – 3k Veteran’s Run, West End Improvement Group
Women’s Tennis - Ebensburg Rotary Hot Chocolate booth
Women’s Bowling – Special Olympics Bowling
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country – Served Thanksgiving dinner at a church
Golf – Volunteered at Heart Chase event
SAAC – Soles4souls, Special Olympics Bowling 

Silver #1: Hilbert College Special Olympics Partnership
Hilbert College sports teams have cultivated a strong partnership with the Special Olympics community in Western New York.  Among their many events:
- 30 players from the baseball team volunteered 140 service hour at the WNY Special Olympics bowling tournament
- more than 35 student-athletes and coaches from all teams provided support at the WNY Special Olympics bowling tournament
- the athletic department invited Special Olympians as honorary Hawks at the men’s volleyball team’s senior night
- and what has become a Hawks tradition, SAAC participated in the Polar Plunge, the Special Olympics fundraiser

Silver #2: Pitt-Bradford Athletic Department Overall Community Service
Pitt-Bradford student-athletes have established a series of signature events that year in, year out form the foundation of their community service effort.  Among the most successful of these community outreach activities are:
- for the seventh consecutive year, Special Olympics Bowling With A Buddy event
- the Thanksgiving Food Basket collection. The athletes/trainers contributed ingredients needed to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including grocery store certificate to purchase a turkey.
- Pitt-Bradford athletes/trainers fill Easter baskets to share Easter joy with local community children.
- “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” is an international march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.  Pitt Bradford athletes/trainers joined men, women and families in the local community to stand up against sexual assault and abuse, one pair of heels at a time. The athletes/ trainers literally took the old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you walk a mile in their shoes.” It wasn’t easy, but it was fun and it was an opportunity to get people talking and be part of the solution to end sexualized violence.

Bronze: D'Youville College Athletics Fights Cancer
Several D’Youville College athletic teams have joined forces and made it a priority to support the fight against cancer by raising hundred of dollars for research.  This includes
- The women’s volleyball team’s Dig Pink game to raise money for breast cancer
- The men’s volleyball team’s work with the Go for the Goal foundation which fights pediatric cancer
- The women’s basketball team’s Pink Game, benefiting the Susan Komen Foundation