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Georgetown Student-Athletes Take Part in Cleanup DC at Rock Creek Park

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April 10, 2014

WASHINGTON - It's only natural that during the course of an academic year, student-athletes can get caught up in school work, games, practices and trying to enjoy their college experience. When given a chance to step back and reflect, however, they realize the opportunities they have and how they can help their community.

Members of the Georgetown Student-Athlete Advisory Committee had a chance to do that this past weekend, helping out in the community. Team members from field hockey and women's soccer took part in Cleanup DC Day as Georgetown helped to celebrate National Student-Athlete Day.

It was one of two instances last weekend with Georgetown student-athletes involved in the community, as the Hoya baseball team spent the last two months raising more than $46,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation for cancer research. The culmination of that fund-raising was held on Saturday after the team's game against Xavier, when the players shaved their heads.

"I am incredibly proud of SAAC for our day of service," senior volleyball player and SAAC President Annalee Abell (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) said. "Our mission is always to make an impact in the DC community but also to support our fellow teams. I think the group found the DC Clean Up Project rewarding. I am so glad we were able to support the baseball team as well against Xavier. The amount of money that they raised for St. Baldrick's was truly inspiring and I am glad we were there for it."

Earlier that day, members of the Georgetown SAAC took part in the 22nd Annual National Student-Athlete Day by meeting with other members of the community and helping to clean up part of Rock Creek Park in the District.

National Student-Athlete Day honors student-athletes and the network of parents, coaches, teachers and school systems that make it possible for young people to strike a balance between academic and athletic achievement and who use sport as a vehicle for positive social change. The day, established by the National Consortium for Academics & Sports, is co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Northeastern University's Sport in Society.

For the student-athletes involved, it was a chance to give back to the community.

"It was great to be able to give back and help out," freshman field hockey player Hailey Vann (Yorktown, Va./Tabb) said. "As a student-athlete at a rigorous academic university, sometimes it is hard to step back, take a break from studying or playing and do something good for others. I think this is what SAAC is all about and the cleanup was a great experience."

"It was great to get off campus and in the sun with my teammates, and contribute to a D.C. wide project," freshman field hockey player Maria McDonald (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) said. "Getting involved with the community outside of GU athletics is important to our team, and we were excited to be a part of such a good cause."

The group, led by Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Leadership & Development Dr. Mike Lorenzen, was asked to take a chance and reflect on their opportunities during the morning.

"I think it is incredibly important to remember that we, as college athletes at Georgetown, are more than just students and more than just athletes," freshman women's soccer player Hannah Howell (Bradenton, Fla./St. Stephens Episcopal) said. "We have so many things that are important to us, and community service is definitely an important aspect of our college experience."

"As a Georgetown student-athlete, and more specifically as a member of the field hockey team, we want our influence to reach beyond the field and the classroom and into the greater D.C. area," freshman Molly Thompson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Pioneer) said. "Participating in SAAC's clean-up of Rock Creek Park was a great opportunity for my teammates, fellow student-athletes, and I to contribute to the community and enjoy some warm spring weather."

From the morning to the afternoon, it was a rewarding day for all of those involved.

"I felt like we made a pretty significant impact on the park," junior swimmer Emily Hall (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill) said. "Not only because we made it cleaner, but also the fact that we cleaned it sets a precedent for that area, which feeds into Rock Creek and eventually the Potomac to keep it clean. And then watching the baseball team shave their heads was amazing; you could tell they were all more than happy to do it."

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