It was Christmas time in the city, and the Northeast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee did not miss out on an opportunity to spread a little holiday cheer.
The group held its annual administrative meetings in a Christmas-clad New York City on the first weekend of December.
With the sights and sounds around Manhattan carrying a holiday time motif, the selected group of NEC student-athletes practiced the spirit of giving. On their way to enjoying a meal together at NEC corporate partner Ruby Tuesday, each of the 24 men and women delivered items to a “Toys for Tots” drop-off point in Times Square.
“We attempt to center all of our community service work around children,” said NEC SAAC advisor Kevin Sanchez. “When it comes to helping kids, our student-athletes really respond and rise to the occasion.”
The “Toys for Tots” drop off and group dinner followed a full day of meetings during which SAAC leaders from around the Northeast Conference shared experiences from their campuses. They also traded ideas and advice for future SAAC-sponsored initiatives and activities.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Mount softball player Lindsey Ruhle about the December weekend in New York City. “We met extremely intelligent and insightful people that gave us ideas that will help our Mount St. Mary’s SAAC grow and develop.”
The meeting, which was hosted at the New York Times Building in Manhattan, gave the SAAC leaders a forum to voice any concerns of fellow student-athletes at their respective institutions. NEC SAAC administrators Kelly Webb and Kevin Sanchez also solicited feedback from the student-athletes on a number of the conference’s operations and events.
“The annual meeting provides a great opportunity for student-athlete leaders from across our conference to collaborate as they all work toward similar goals,” said Sanchez. “It is also important that everyone is aware of what is happening on a national scale, too.”
Every year, a portion of the meeting is dedicated to discussing national issues and any pending NCAA legislation.
The young men and women of the Northeast Conference SAAC won’t convene again until next fall, but they’ll be organizing and administering a number of service efforts in the meantime.
The next community service initiative that the group will undertake are the annual “Penny Wars.” SAAC groups can choose any two-week period from January 7 through March 17 during which they will conduct the “Penny Wars” fundraiser, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation in Harrisburg, PA.