Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference lauds Altoona for community service

Penn State Altoona is among several conference schools recognized by the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference for extraordinary community service efforts.

During the 2013-14 academic year, student-athletes, coaches and staff members from across the AMCC pitched in to help local, national and international projects. The Conference lauded individual colleges by awarding gold, silver and bronze statuses in three community service categories: One-Time Event, Ongoing Event and Array of Events. Penn State Altoona was awarded with one gold, one silver and one bronze for its work.

“It’s always nice to be able to give back to the community and help others wherever and whenever we can,” said Penn State Altoona junior Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) vice president and men’s basketball player Joel Redfoot. “It was a total team effort from all the student-athletes. We didn’t do it for the recognition, but rather to help others, which made it even greater for us.”

The Lions athletics department received a gold award in the One-Time Event category for its shoe collection in support of Soles4Souls, a global nonprofit institution dedicated to fighting the perpetuation of poverty. The organization has donated more than 25 million shoes to over 100 countries worldwide. During a week in February, SAAC spearheaded a campus-wide effort to benefit a local Soles4Souls drive and rounded up 230 shoes for the cause.

For its continuing partnership with the Special Olympics on a local level, Penn State Altoona was awarded a silver in the Conference's Ongoing Event category. From August to May, SAAC members, student-athletes, coaches, faculty and athletic department staff donated time and effort to Special Olympics athletes from Blair, Bedford, Cambria and Clearfield counties. They regularly assisted the Special Olympics athletes in basketball, bocce, bowling, swimming, track and field, and volleyball practices. In April, Penn State Altoona held its third Student-Athlete vs. Staff/Faculty basketball game, which raised money for the local Special Olympians and provided the opportunity for the Olympians to play basketball in the Adler Gym in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

In the Array of Events category, Penn State Altoona received a bronze award for its work with Altoona Area School District’s Mountain Lion Backpack Program, which provides weekend “backpack” meals to local school children in need. Student-athletes, coaches, staff members and club sports athletes worked at the Backpack Program’s headquarters to unload food trucks from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, organizing the food and helping create the backpacks. Volunteers also held three activities to support the program. In February, student-athletes gathered in the Adler Gym and created treat bags to be placed in the backpacks. In March and April, student-athletes collected more than $2,900 for the program. In April, SAAC sponsored the Kick Out Hunger Kickball Tournament in which the campus’ student-athletes and club sports athletes played kickball to raise more than $130 for the Backpack Program.

“Our student-athletes, coaches and staff are dedicated to making a difference in our community and have continued to find new ways to give back to these great organizations,” said Penn State Altoona SAAC adviser Billy Clapper. “These recognitions are just another way to bring awareness and support to all the great things that others in our community do.”

Last Updated May 30, 2014