May 2, 2012
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena College is the runaway winner of the MAAC Pepsi Refresh Goodworks Challenge, an annual contest between the league's membership that measures community service. The College will receive $1,000 to award to the charity of its choice.
"Siena student athletes cherish the opportunity to give back to the Capital Region community," director of athletics John D'Argenio said. "This accomplishment speaks to the character of the students our coaches recruit, and the vitality of Siena's mission and Franciscan values in the everyday operations of our department."
Siena won the challenge by volunteering for 47 community service ventures from September through April. Siena racked up 4,746 points, nearly 1,500 points more than second place Rider. Points were awarded for each hour of service a student athlete, coach or administrator volunteered, with bonus points for events with a large number of volunteers, and those documented on video.
Student athletes and coaches volunteerism included meaningful partnerships with: Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Cancer Society, Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer, Special Olympics New York, Northeast Regional Foodbank, Colonie Shooting Stars and the Double H Ranch. The men's and women's basketball teams play a leadership role in Siena's "Saints in the Community" program, highlighted by the highly successful Adopt-A-School initiative.
Siena's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) spearheaded many of the volunteer efforts. SAAC's second annual Student Athlete Talent Show and Easter Egg Hunt helped raise over $1,000 for Special Olympics New York, and the group's canned food drive and holiday gift collection provided for those in need.
"This is an accomplishment we truly cherish," SAAC president Katie Carew said. "Winning games and championships is important, but being a student athlete at Siena is about so much more than that. The Goodworks Challenge has helped unite Siena's student athletes, and it's great to be recognized for all the work we have done together. SAAC has always been really involved in the community, and Siena student athletes love to give back. This shows we really do care about others."
In total, the 10 MAAC schools participated in 294 community service events this year, accumulating 27,714.7 points.
Pepsi Goodworks Final Standings
1.) Siena College 4,746
2.) Rider University 3,299
3.) Manhattan College 3,168.5
4.) Canisius College 3,032.3
5.) Fairfield University 2,989.5
6.) Marist College 2,818
7.) Niagara University 2,703.5
8.) Iona College 2,264
9.) Saint Peter's College 1,693
10.) Loyola University 1,000.9