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Monday, November 24, 2014

Every ECC Institution Takes Part in Second Annual "Team Up to Clean Up" Initiative

Every ECC Institution Takes Part in Second Annual "Team Up to Clean Up" Initiative

Central Islip, N.Y. - During the months of October and November, the East Coast Conference's 11 member instiutions, provided clean up efforts in their local communities as part of the ECC’s Second Annual Team Up to Clean Up one-day community service initiative.
After three member institutions took part in the event last year, all 11 schools cleaned up their local communities this fall. "For the East Coast Conference and our member institutions, a major part of who we are is tied into us partnering with and giving back to our communities,” stated ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. “We are very proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members committed to making a difference."

Among some of the beautification tasks completed by the schools were painting guardrails, raking leaves, landscaping, and collecting numerous bags of trash. In all, nearly 1,000 student-athletes, coaches, and administrators lent a helping hand in cleaning up their communities. Specific details of each school's clean up and quotes from participants, can be found below.

"Team Up to Clean Up is a program we hope to continue on an annual basis along with other service and engagement efforts," said Dranoff. "The idea is for our student-athletes to work locally and help to beautify public places, reduce waste, and make a contribution in some way in their neighborhoods. As you can see from the work done by our 11 schools, this was a resounding success.”

Dranoff also noted the kind support provided again this year by Henry Schein, Inc., of Melville, N.Y., distributor of health care products and services, for Team Up to Clean Up. Supplies including protective gloves, garbage bags and wipes were graciously donated to each institution and used by the student-athletes.

Justin Hickam, Regional Sales Manager for Sports Medicine at Henry Schein, was an integral part in helping the ECC arrange for this donation. "It was our honor to once again help our local communities and the athletic programs at all of the East Coast Conference member schools," said Hickam. "Great things can be accomplished when everyone chips in to help their local neighborhoods."

Bridgeport: Student-athletes and coaches from each of the 13 varsity sports teams came together to collect almost 30 pounds of trash from Seaside Park, which is located adjacent to the University of Bridgeport's campus.

“We feel that Seaside Park is really part of our campus," said Bridgeport Director of Athletics, Anthony Vitti. "Seaside is part of what makes UB a special place as we have this beautiful green space that borders on Long Island Sound. It’s great to be able to walk out of your office, classroom or dorm and just spend some time in the park, and I’m glad we could do something to help keep it beautiful.”

Daemen: Approximately 125 student-athletes from several of Daemen College's 14 intercollegiate athletic programs participated in the Team Up To Clean Up initiative, volunteering at local parks, bike paths and other areas. Members of Daemen's men's and women's cross country, basketball, tennis and track and field teams, as well as members of the men's golf and women's soccer squads participated in clean up efforts around Amherst between October 10-24.

"We are always looking for ways that our student-athletes can give back to the local community that supports us on a daily basis," said Associate Athletic Director, Jessica Gorski, who helps spearhead all of Daemen Athletics' community service projects. "Our participation in the Team Up To Clean Up program is another avenue for us to do that. We were more than happy to have our student-athletes participate, and glad that the East Coast Conference brought this idea to us."

District of Columbia: Over 30 Firebird student-athletes helped clean the streets surrounding the UDC Van Ness campus on a beautiful fall morning in the nation’s capital on Friday, October 17th. Several men’s lacrosse players and the entire women’s lacrosse, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s tennis teams were all divided into groups and assigned a particular area to pick up trash.

"We are very proud of the work these wonderful student-athletes did on Friday morning, and for the example they are setting for young people throughout Washington DC," Director of Athletics Patricia Thomas said. "It is important to serve the community, and this event provided our student-athletes the opportunity to enhance the beauty of Northwest DC. They did a phenomenal job."

Dowling: For the ninth consecutive year, Dowling College Athletics partnered up with Keep Islip Clean to clean up the community that the Golden Lions call home. Over 250 student-athletes, coaches and staff spread out across the area around the Oakdale/Rudolph Campus collecting trash, cleaning up parks and parking lots and removing litter from roadways. For the third consecutive year, the men’s lacrosse team spent their time at the Town of Islip Garden and Compost Facility doing extensive landscaping. Also, the baseball team headed to Organics Today Farm where they weeded and harvested organically grown produce, and cleaned up the nearby roadside.

“This is such a great event.” Vice President for Athletics Melody Cope said. “Our student-athletes are involved in so many community service initiatives, but this event gives our student-athletes the opportunity to make a difference here in the Oakdale community.”

LIU Post: A total of 30 LIU Post student-athletes participated in the East Coast Conference Community Clean-Up initiative at Crocheron Park in Queens. Members of the Pioneers' men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and women's tennis teams filled up over 100 tarps worth of leaves, and tossed them in a garbage truck.

"It was a great experience to give back to the community," stated junior baseball player Steve Teitel. "I am glad that we were able to offer our time and have the athletic department help out at this event,"

"It was a great day for the LIU Post athletic family to get out and help a city park," Head Baseball Coach Mike Gaffney said. "It brought us all together, not just to spend time with one another, but to follow a plan and get a job done."

Mercy: Over 150 Mercy College student-athletes cleaned up the Old Croton Aqueduct, and the streets in the Village of Dobbs Ferry. Members of the Baseball, Softball, Men’s Lacrosse, and both Men’s and Women’s basketball teams started by picking up trash along the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, which runs from campus into the village. After collecting the trash on the trail, the teams spilt up into two groups and hit the streets of Dobbs Ferry. The Men’s Lacrosse team took advantage by cleaning up the playground at the Dobbs Ferry Memorial Park, located just off Main Street. As the team left the park, a local resident with her young son thanked the team for cleaning up the park, where her son plays every day.

“Here at Mercy College we pride ourselves on our community involvement” said Athletic Director Matt Kilcullen Jr. “Our student athletes did a great job of being a good neighbor to the surrounding community by collecting trash along the trail and on the streets of Dobbs Ferry. It was a great experience for our young men and women.”

Molloy: The Molloy College Department of Athletics sent 35 student-athletes, along with coaches and administrators to the nearby Village of Hempstead to help improve Hempstead by painting guardrails and fire hydrants, as well as picking up trash and debris.

"We're out here today as part of the East Coast Conference's 'clean up' initiative," commented Molloy Director of Athletics Susan Cassidy-Lyke. "All the institutions within the conference are neighboring with their local communities. Here at Molloy College, this is our second year in the Village of Hempstead and it's exciting for us to be able to help out a neighboring community."

"It was a good way to give back to the community," said Molloy men's basketball sophomore Charlie Marquardt. "Molloy preaches to do good service and that's what we did here today."

NYIT: The NYIT Department of Intercollegiate Athletics paired with the Town of North Hempstead. The Bears assisted the town in cleaning up North Hempstead Beach Park; a park that has been around more than 40 years but has been littered on for an extended duration of time. Thanks to the help of our Bears, we were able to fill 55 bags of garbage along a newly created walking trail. Included in their finds were tons of golf balls from the golf course across the street, tires, wires, bottles, and cans.

“The ECC Team Up To Clean Up is a great way for us to give back to our community, while keeping the environment healthy,” said Alex Barbosa, a junior on the men’s soccer team.

Queens:  The Queens College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) spent their morning at Pomonok Residence giving back to the community. The student- athletes worked at an apartment center directly across from the main gate of the school to clean up the garden and the pathways in front of the apartments. The students worked to pick up garbage and pulled weeds in order to plant new flowers that could last through the winter season.

“It was great to see how much of an improvement we made,” junior volleyball player Arielle DiCocco said. “Just spending a part of our day we were able to improve the appearance of these people’s homes. It was a great experience!”

Roberts Wesleyan: Nearly 70 student-athletes and coaches from Roberts Wesleyan participated at three different locations throughout Rochester. Members of the Cross Country teams headed to Irondequoit to serve at the Trinity Communion Church where they helped rake the grounds and weed the garden.
Players and coaches from the Men's Lacrosse team and several members of the Track & Field teams with their coach headed over to the Sprucewood Nature Center behind Churchville Elementary School. At Sprucewood, the athletes cleared trails, raked leaves, cut back briar bushes, and repaired parts of the trail itself preparing the paths for the upcoming winter months. A kind thank you note from Laurie Osgood, the director of the center, stated that our athletes accomplished in a couple of hours what would have taken students and parent volunteers days to complete.

The Men's Basketball team visited veterans at Eagle Star Housing in Spencerport. Eagle Star is a home where veterans experiencing hardship are provided the support they need to get back on their feet. Members of the team went inside to wash windows while other players along with the coaching staff spent several hours raking leaves and cleaning up the grounds with the veterans.

In total, 71 bags of leaves and debris were gathered off the properties, in addition to all of the overgrowth from the trails that was just carried back into the woods.

St. Thomas Aquinas: Members of the St. Thomas Aquinas track & field, softball, men’s tennis and baseball teams volunteered at the Sparkill Clean Up, an event organized by Keep Rockland Beautiful to help to clean the Sparkill Creek Watershed. The Sparkill Creek Watershed is an important part of St. Thomas Aquinas College as it runs through the campus and alongside Spartan Field.

The teams were split into work parties that covered different areas along the Sparkill Creek. The area ranged from the pier in Piermont to Routes 303 and 340 (which border the STAC campus) and down to Northvale, N.J. They cleaned garbage and debris that had piled along the creek and the surrounding areas. This benefitted the local water supply as it helped to eliminate pollution that would runoff into the stream. The Spartan student-athletes covered many miles over a three-hour span.

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