CoSIDA Goodwill & Wellness Committee Sees Record Partipation, Dontates Over $9,200 To Local Charity
by Brian Lovellette, Sports Information Director, St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Goodwill and Wellness Committee Member
Goodwill & Wellness Committee leaders Ryan Davis (Community
Service Coordinator), Jeremy Rosenthal (5K Coordinator) and
Chris Mitchell (Committee Chair).
When the Goodwill and Wellness Committee was first formed a decade ago the goal was to further the belief in the need to maintain one's health, overall wellness, and community; as well as improving ourselves, both physically and mentally, will translate into success professionally. Now a decade later those ideals have developed into one of the most active groups in CoSIDA highlighted by the annual 5K Charity Fun Run/Walk and Community Service Project at the CoSIDA convention.
For the second consecutive year, the Goodwill and Wellness Committee saw record numbers of participants in the 2017 5K race as well as donation amount (over $9,200) for the established local charities. This year, 244 CoSIDA and NACDA convention attendees signed up for the 5K run/walk on Tuesday morning, raising over $4,500 for charity.
"For the eighth-straight year, we have surpassed the previous year. It is important to continue to grow the event each year and see how far we can take this," said Ryan Davis, Assistant Commissioner for Communications with the Missouri Valley Conference.
Each year the race continues to grow with College TV Ticket serving as the official race sponsor and Pro Forma Collegiate Solutions as a supporting sponsor and supplying dri-fit shirts for this year's race. The growth of the money raised for charities since the committees' inception has been staggering. Growing from $345 in 2009 to reaching the $1,000 mark in every year since the run/walk was first held in 2011 including over $9,000 in each of the last two years.
"We at Samaritan's Feet really pride ourselves in bringing together people that wouldn't necessarily be together. Therefore, in this situation we have kids in Orlando and people from across the country coming together for one end goal; to impact a community. It is important to note that sports can bridge the gap in a community and bring people together," said TJ Tolbert, Sports Marketing Coordinator with Samaritan's Feet.
This year's race was also an officially timed event, with top finishers receiving plaques. Lexi Aughenbaugh (18:22), from Ohio State University, was the winner of the women's race with Mary Kate Curran (St. Lawrence University) placing second, and Heather Magill taking third. Eric Loveland, from Fresno State University, was the top male finisher with a time of (16:48) while Mark Albanese (Pacific Lutheran University) and John Diffley (St. John's University) finished third.
Despite the early morning, over 40 sports information directors continued their day by attending the eighth annual CoSIDA Community Service Project. CoSIDA members joined with Samaritan's Feet in supplying new socks and shoes to boys and girls before then participating in a basketball skills camp held at Frontline Outreach.
"Last year we incorporated a baseball skills camp while working with Keeper of the Game. The response from our volunteers was they liked the connection with sports since we all work professionally in the field," said Davis.
"Frontline Outreach is a full-service family center that serves kids from early head start programs (six weeks to sixth grade) to after school programs and GED classes. We serve over 100 kids a day from four different schools and hold activity programs such as volleyball, swimming, soccer, and basketball along with reading and tutoring programs," said Dwight Mitchell, Frontline Outreach Athletic Director.
The day's events concluded with the YC Charity Social with the YC group collaborating with the Goodwill and Wellness Committee to donate all proceeds to Samaritans Feet and Frontline Outreach. In all, the Goodwill and Wellness Committee and YC has combined to raise over $35,000 in just nine years for communities and charity organizations.
Megan Hardin, Athletics Communications Director from Southwestern University (Texas), summed up the day at Frontline Outreach best when she said, "Anytime you can get out and make a difference in the community is just a great opportunity to not only be involved in CoSIDA but also hopefully be able to impact even just one person's life out here. To come out here and hang out with these kids and see the spirit, energy, and life they have is so amazing"
The Goodwill and Wellness Committee is a year round group that focuses on bettering individuals both personally and professionally. In addition to the CoSIDA Community Service Project, the Committee has established the Volunteer 15 program, which honors CoSIDA members who are involved in their communities by volunteering at least 15 hours throughout the school year. If you are interested in participating in the Volunteer 15 program, click here for more information.
The committee has also established a Communicators Outside the Lines feature that recognizes CoSIDA members with the goal of motivating fellow members to get more involved in their communities or make healthier lifestyle changes.