OSWEGO — The Oswego State athletics department recently earned a top community service award from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators, thanks to the work of 450 student-athletes participating in 58 community service and outreach events.
At a ceremony at the NCAA convention in Washington, D.C., the NADIIIAA recognized Oswego with the Jostens Community Service Award for an Array of Projects for the third consecutive year.
Additionally, Lakers men’s ice hockey player Eli Kim-Swallow received an honorable mention for his efforts in raising money for the Child Advocacy Center.
Each year, Oswego’s 24 intercollegiate athletics programs participate in a variety of caring events, expanding their efforts year to year. In 2013-14, the level of service grew from 44 to 58 events, supporting 31 community organizations.
“We have some of the most dedicated and caring student-athletes at any level of the NCAA,” said Dan Witmer, community service coordinator for the athletics department. “It makes my job that much easier when the teams respond to cover the events in overwhelming numbers.”
The Lakers’ annual event in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation helped raise more than $95,000.
Members of the women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey teams conducted a daylong ovarian cancer awareness event that netted more than $9,000.
Among the other organizations benefitting from the work of Oswego student-athletes were the United Way, YMCA, Oswego and Fulton city school districts, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Kay Yow Foundation, Girl Scouts, Toys for Tots and Coaches Against Cancer.
Kim-Swallow, a senior forward from Toronto, took his service a step further, teaming with Delta Kappa Kappa fraternity and its president, Denvol Haye, to create the “For the Kids” fundraiser.
On April 12, they organized a barbeque at a local restaurant with music provided by the college’s student-run radio station, WNYO. The all-day event brought in more than $2,500 to benefit the Child Advocacy Center, while an online donation site, created with Kim-Swallow’s help, collected more than $1,000.
“It was something that came out of a genuine want to help people in the community,” Kim-Swallow said. “I am so thankful to Denvol, Delta Kappa Kappa and the members of Oswego that came out to help support this more than worthy organization.”