Football Honored with Community Service Award

Football community service

The University of Redlands football team’s Benevolent Bulldog program earned a Jostens/National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators (NADIIIAA) Community Service Award for the 2008-09 academic year, as announced on Tuesday by the NADIIIAA.

Redlands gained one of two ongoing project/activity “Award of Merit” distinctions.

The idea for Benevolent Bulldog program was hatched in 2008 by Communicative Disorders professor and Faculty Athletic Committee Chair, Dr. Chris Walker. Walker and a handful of other sponsors annually give $100 to football student-athletes following their non-traditional season in May and charge them with the task of growing the seed money before they arrive back on campus in the fall.

Through this program, Bulldog football players have purchased food for the homeless, organized a bowling tournament that raised $2,800 for St. Jude’s Research Hospital, hired a translator for a Spanish-speaking mother whose daughter was having a brain tumor operation in Phoenix, AZ, donated scholarships to students at a school in Sierra Leone and purchased a water buffalo for a village in the Philippines.

The Redlands football team also gained a Jostens/NADIIIAA Community Service Award at the 2007 NCAA Convention under the one-time project/activity category. More than 50 student-athletes and coaches spent up to two weeks mucking out houses in New Orleans, LA, for Hilltop Rescue & Relief in May of 2006.

“It is an honor for Bulldog football to once again receive national recognition for one of its many community service endeavors,” Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez said. “Our programs do not complete community service for recognition; they do so because of the value gained and the lessons learned from finding ways to contribute to society and improve our communities. The fact that Jostens has chosen to provide recognition is merely a bonus to this endeavor.”

The NADIIIAA and Jostens co-sponsor this “community service recognition program” to bring recognition to the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities.

 This program recognizes institutions in three separate community service categories: a one-time project/activity, an array of projects/activities and an ongoing project/activity. In addition to the recognition associated with winning the award, the NADIIIAA and Jostens will make a $1,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund of the institutions.

This year’s Jostens/NADIIIAA Community Service Awards will be presented at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta, GA, on Jan. 16.

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