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‘Cats give back

benjamin marquez

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Photograph by Lindsay Pincus Members of the Chico State men’s basketball team pose with stuffed animals.

Photograph by Lindsay Pincus
Members of the Chico State men’s basketball team pose with stuffed animals.

Waking up on Christmas morning with gifts under the Christmas tree is a dream for many children. And this year, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is helping to make that dream a reality.

The committee, which is made up of at least two representatives from each of the university’s 13 sports teams, participated in the University’s Needy Children Program this year. The program was established in 1990 to help underprivileged children in Butte County.

Alex Shurtz, a senior in the women’s volleyball team, participated in the program this semester.

“SAAC does really amazing work for the less fortunate, and it’s great to be a part of something like this and help others,” Shurtz said.

Athletes from the 13 sports teams asked for donations of at least $2. Every member of each  team promoted the cause.

Amir Carraway, a senior on the Chico State men’s basketball team, also helped the committee. Every contribution helped, Carraway said.

“Donating $2 really goes a long way, and at the end of the day it’s for the kids, which is a great cause,” Carraway said. “With the donations, we bought basic needs of warm clothing and shoes, in addition to toys for the children.”

This year, the University’s Needy Children Program raised $5,000 for grocery certificates and $20,000 in gifts for 151 children and 72 families, said Dana Francis, the chair of the University’s Needy Children Program.

“It is great that these busy athletes take the time off the court to raise money, purchase gifts, wrap and deliver Christmas presents for the families,” Francis said. “Kids often look up to athletes as role models, but it goes beyond that when they can look up to them as helpers in the community.”

The committee raised a little over $350 this year, said Mitch Cox, the assistant athletic director.

“It’s nice to help contribute, but the shine and glory should go to the University’s Needy Children Program who do wonders for this community,” Cox said.

The University’s Needy Children Program will have an open house reception at the university farm today from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

 

Ben Marquez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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‘Cats give back