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Community Service
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead

Community Service Summaries 2008-2009

Football

  • DARE Graduation Ceremony
    May 19, 2008 and May 20, 2008

    Student-athletes from the Pitt football team joined Mayor Luke Ravenstal and other former DARE participants at a highly successful DARE Graduation, held at Heinz Field. The ceremony included over 2,300 students from 47 local elementary schools. Student-athletes volunteered to pack lunches the day before the ceremony. On the day of the event, other student-athletes ran onto the field to the Pitt Victory Song to help celebrate. In addition, Eric Thatcher spoke to the students about continuing to make good and safe decisions.

  • Oakland Business Improvement District
    June 20, 2008

    Student-athletes from the Pitt football team volunteered to help the Oakland Business Improvement District set-up for the grand opening of the Oakland Farmer's Market. The Oakland Business Improvement District is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the cleanliness, appearance, and perception of safety in Oakland.

  • Duquesne Youth Athletic Association and Boys and Girls Club Football Clinic
    July 24, 2008

    Members of the Pitt football team facilitated a free football clinic for local youth from Duquesne. In addition to teaching fundamentals skills related to football, the student-athletes spoke about being responsible and making good decisions.

  • Children's Hospital Visit
    December 5, 2008

    Gus Mustakas and Nate Byham visited a patient in Children's Hospital with special physical needs that required four surgeries in two weeks. The patient specifically requested Pitt football student-athletes visit for encouragement. The student-athletes spent time in the patient's room and gave the patient signed memorabilia.

  • VA Hospital Visit
    December 19, 2008

    Student-athletes from the Pitt football team visited patients at the Veteran's Hospital. They distributed gift bags, posters, teddy bears and cards.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    January 31, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

  • Muscular Dystrophy Association Team Event
    March 26, 2009

    Student-athletes from the football team joined other Pittsburgh sports figures to host youth with muscular complications. The event was a fundraiser to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

  • Children's Hospital 10th Annual Health Rangers Recognition
    March 13, 2009

    Adam Gunn, student-athlete from the Pitt football team, was a guest speaker at the year-end recognition luncheon. He referred to personal experiences to encourage the middle school students to keep striving to make good decisions. The Children's Hospital Health Ranchers program is a mentoring program for local middle school students. Children's Hospital staff serves as mentors, who help develop skills related to professional etiquette and making responsible decisions in life.

  • Pittsburgh Police Fallen Heroes Fund Event with Clipps Hair Salon
    April 18, 2009

    Clipps Hair Salon conducted a cut-a-thon to support the Fallen Heroes Fund. All of the revenue generated during the cut-a-thon was donated to the Fallen Heroes Fund. The fund was established by the Fraternal Order of Police to support the families of three officers that passed away in the line of duty on Saturday, April 4, 2009 in a local Pittsburgh community. Student-athletes from the football team signed autographs for customers during the cut-a-thon.

    Men's Baseball

  • Habitat for Humanity
    November 11, 2008

    Members of the Men's Baseball Team collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house for a family in the Pittsburgh area. The student-athletes carried boxes of materials into the basement, removed debris from the property and helped clean the area. The student-athletes also learned how Habitat for Humanity helps provide affordable housing to low-income families.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    February 7, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

  • Beth Shalom Men's Club Luncheon
    February 8, 2009

    Members of the Pitt Men's Baseball Team attended a luncheon in Squirrel Hill, which benefited members of the community with mental health issues. Student-athletes participated in games and activities with those in attendance.

    Men's Basketball

  • Weil PreK-8 School - Guest Reader Program
    September 11, 2008

    Members of the men's basketball team served as guest readers to elementary students at Weil PreK-8 School. They read books to various classes and encouraged students to continue to build habits around reading on a regular basis.

  • US Steel United Way Party on the Plaza
    September 19, 2008

    Participants signed autographs at the event, put on by United Way as a fundraiser to raise money with the intent of providing services for low income families.

  • Healthy 4 Life Expo
    September 23, 2008

    Members of the Pitt men's basketball team signed autographs to help support efforts associated with diabetes and promote healthy living.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    April 4, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

  • Organ Transplant Patients vs. Doctors Basketball Game
    April 17, 2009

    Members of the men's and women's basketball team served as referees for the organ transplant patients versus doctor game. The event was designed to raise awareness for organ donation in the community.

    Men's Soccer

  • Paw Prints Presentation at Homewood-Brushton YMCA
    November 21, 2008

    The men's soccer team used Paw Prints magazine to facilitate discussion about healthy living and making good decisions with middle school students from the Homewood-Brushton YMCA.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    February 14, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

    Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving

  • Bloomfield Citizen's Parade
    October 29, 2008

    The Pitt women's and men's swimming and diving team participated in the neighborhood's annual Halloween Parade by marching through the Bloomfield neighborhood and handing out healthy snacks and Paw Prints Posters.

  • Special Olympics Allegheny County Aquatics Program
    March 29, 2009

    Student-athletes from the women's and men's swimming and diving team hosted a Special Olympics competition at Trees Hall. The team setup, officiated, and ran the entire meet and awards ceremony. Each Pitt athlete had a Special Olympic "Buddy" for the day. The student-athletes prepared their buddies for the swim meet and awards ceremony.

  • Sarah Heinz House Swim Clinic
    April 4, 2009

    Student-athletes from the men's and women's swimming and diving team facilitated a clinic for underprivileged youth from Pittsburgh and Troy Hill. Sarah Heinz House is affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club. It originally was the Children's Club for children of HJ Heinz Company. The Sahara Heinz House provides free educational and recreational programs along with meals for local members.

    Men's and Women's Track and Field

  • KaBoom Playground Build Day
    September 20, 2008

    Participants of the men's and women's track team helped build a playground for children in a Pittsburgh neighborhood to provide a safe place for play. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    February 28, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

    Men's Wrestling

  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
    December 19, 2008

    The Pitt wrestling team donated canned food items to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The Great Pittsburgh Community Food Bank also collected canned food items from the attendees at the wrestling match vs. Northwestern University. Attendees were able to donate two cans of food and receive free admission to the match.

  • South Hills Bible Church
    December 23, 2008

    Members of the Pitt Men's Wrestling team assisted South Hill Bible Church by cleaning the facilities and moving the furniture.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    March 28, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

    Women's Basketball

  • Healthy for Life Expo
    September 23, 2008

    Members of the Pitt women's basketball team signed autographs to help support efforts associated with diabetes and promote healthy living. The team also conducted basketball demonstrations for kids, who attended the expo.

  • Beginning with Books Event
    December 17, 2008

    Members of the Pitt women's basketball team visited a local elementary school and read books to the students. The event was designed to promote the schools reading initiative.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    April 4, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

  • Organ Transplant Patients vs. Doctors Basketball Game
    April 17, 2009

    Members of the men's and women's basketball team served as referees for the organ transplant patients versus doctor game. The event was designed to raise awareness for organ donation in the community.

    Women's Gymnastics

  • Keep it Clean Oakland
    December 6, 2008

    Members of the women's gymnastics team picked up litter and debris in the Oakland area as part of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, a community based organization that engages in planning and developing activities, which contributes to the vitality of Oakland.

  • Pittsburgh Dance Marathon
    January 24, 2009

    Members of the Pitt gymnastics team prepared a demonstration for dancers and attendees of the 24 hour dance marathon. Proceeds went to the Cancer Institute.

  • Pitt's Partnership for Food - Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
    May 1, 2009
    Members of the women's gymnastics team collected nonperishable canned and boxed foods. They donated 90 items of food to Pitt's Partnership for Food. This initiative involved over 400 area universities, companies and governmental agencies launching their own food collection campaigns. Contributions went directly to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Duquesne, which distributes the donations to a network of local food pantries.

    Women's Soccer

  • Keep it Clean Oakland
    November 22, 2008

    Members of the women's soccer team picked up litter and debris in the Oakland area as part of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, a community based organization that engages in planning and developing activities, which contributes to the vitality of Oakland.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    February 21, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

  • Betty Puskar Kicks Against Breast Cancer
    March 30 - April 2, 2009

    Members of the women's soccer team collected monetary donations around the University of Pittsburgh's campus to support the Betty Puskar Kicks Against Breast Cancer initiative. The donation was presented at the soccer match against West Virginia. The team fundraised over $2,000.

  • Community Soccer Clinic at Spring Football Festival
    April 11, 2009

    Members of the women's soccer team facilitated a soccer demonstration on the fundamentals of the sport. Families attending the annual spring football festival were invited to participate.

    Women's Softball

  • Children's Hospital Family Dinner
    December 9, 2008

    Student-athletes' visited patients at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC. They participated in arts and crafts, playing video games and board games.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    January 17, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

  • Friends of Jaclyn Foundation
    Spring 2009

    The Pitt women's softball team supported efforts of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. They "adopted" Leah Royer through the Friends of Jaclyn Organization. They donated PITT softball t-shirts, media guides, and softballs. In addition, they met with Leah on March 21st. The entire family visited the team, where the team learned about Leah's battle. They conducted a Leah Royer/JPA Awareness day at one of the softball games.

    Women's Tennis

  • Park Clean Up
    On-going

    Members of the Pitt women's tennis team conducted litter clean ups at a local park and surrounding neighborhood at Pittsburgh's Washington Landing.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    March 21, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

    Women's Volleyball

  • Peoples Oakland
    November 18, 2008

    Members of the volleyball team facilitated a mini-clinic to promote healthy living. The clinic was for consumers from Peoples Oakland, a non-profit organization that works with adults with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    January 24, 2009

    Panther PAWS is an on-going program that connects Pitt student-athletes with middle school students to promote health and wellness. Each Saturday during the spring semester a different team facilitates an instructional sports clinic and educational discussions for youth from the hill district community.

    Multiple Team Initiatives

  • Freddy Sanchez Players for Kidz Gala
    September 18, 2008

    Participants were honored at a dinner for their participation in the Players 4 Kidz summer clinics. As an internship, Pitt student-athletes visited various local summer camps and interacted with camp participants. The Freddy Sanchez Gala was a fundraiser for the Players 4 Kidz program. Gala also held an auction benefiting Pittsburgh Youth Network and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

  • Kids Helping Kids Art Contest
    October 2, 2008

    Student-athletes were guest judges for a children's art contest that supported the Children's Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center'. Proceeds from the event went to The Children's Home.

  • Pittsburgh Sports Gala (for Cardinal Wright School)
    October 16, 2008

    Pitt student athletes attended the fundraising event to help support the Cardinal Wright School. The student-athletes signed autographs for those who attended the event. Proceeds of a silent auction went to regional schools.

  • The Bradley Center
    December 8, 2009

    Pitt student-athletes volunteered to play games and participate in Christmas decorating projects with the children at the Bradley Center. The Bradley Center is focused on providing hope to children and families in need of comprehensive and caring services. The Bradley Center was originally operated as an orphanage and as interim housing for children whose parents were separated or divorced. It evolved to serving abused, neglected and dependent children through being a regional behavioral healthcare and child welfare system that provides hope to young girls and boys.

  • Family House
    December 12, 2008

    Student-athletes organized a food and gift drive for the Family House in Pittsburgh. The family house is available to people that are from out of town and have family members, who are in Pittsburgh hospitals.

  • UPMC Girls and Women in Sports Festival
    January 10, 2009

    Student-athletes hosted girls and young women from various groups to promote healthy living. The student-athletes presented demonstrations and participated in various sports activities with the girls.

  • Girl Scout Day
    January 17, 2009

    Student-athletes hosted Girl Scouts from various areas in a day of activities in the Petersen Events Center. The event promoted healthy living. The Girl Scouts were also were invited to attend the women's basketball game following the event.

  • Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority - Children's Day
    April 5, 2009

    Children from various Pittsburgh organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club and various schools participated in interactive activities, facilitated by the sorority members and student-athletes. While connecting youth with positive role models, the event emphasized the values of leadership and teamwork.

  • National Heart Association Start Walking Day at Bethel Memorial Elementary School
    April 8, 2009
    Bethel Memorial Elementary facilitated interactive activities and discussions about the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits. Various activities included simulating dance moves with the Dance Dance Revolution video game, yoga stations, dodge/volleyball games and healthy snacks. Student-athletes participated in the stations and encourage students to live healthy lifestyles.

  • Pittsburgh Police Fallen Heroes Fund
    April 11, 2009

    Student-athletes from the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) collected donations for the Fallen Heroes Fund. The fund was established by the Fraternal Order of Police to support the families of three officers that passed away in the line of duty on Saturday, April 4th in a local Pittsburgh community. Over $2,800 was raised through collection at the annual Pitt spring football festival.

  • Organ Transplant Patients vs. Doctors Basketball Game
    April 17, 2009

    Members of the men's and women's basketball team served as referees for the organ transplant patients versus doctor game. The event was designed to raise awareness for organ donation in the community.

    On-going Initiatives

  • Children's Hospital Visits

    Student-athletes visit patients at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC twice a month throughout the year. They participate in arts and crafts, playing video games and board games.

  • Children's Hospital Honorary Captain

    Working with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC, student-athletes host a patient at each home football game. The patients are considered honorary captains and participate in the coin toss with the Pitt football team captains before the games. The program was initiated in the fall of 2000 with football. In January 2006, the program was extended to involving selected men's basketball games. Additionally, in 2008, the program will include selected women's basketball games. At various men's and women's basketball games, patients are invited to listen to the pre-game discussion with the officials, Pitt team captains, and the opposing team captains.

  • Paw Prints

    Student-Athletes visit local middle schools to promote healthy living and good decision making. Paw Prints posters are used to assist in the educational topic pertaining to middle school students.

  • Panther PAWS (Pitt Athletes Working with Students)
    January 17 - April 4, 2009

    In the fifth year of collaboration with the Community Leisure Learn program and the Department of Athletics, the PAWS program featured 12 of our varsity sports and the dance team. Each week, a different team conducted a weekly instructional sports clinic with an educational topic. The clinic provided over 70 youth from the Hill District community the opportunity to be exposed to different sports and educational presentations. The PAWS program took place for over ten weeks in the spring semester.

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