Sept. 27, 2006
In an effort to highlight the leadership and good works of the student-athletes in the conference, the ACC SAAC began the SAAC in ACCtion initiative to provide on-line articles about the SAAC programs at the league's 12 member institutions. The goal of this initiative is to shed light on the great things our student-athletes are doing to affect significant positive change on campus and in our communities.
Every two weeks, the SAAC leaders from a different school will provide a SAAC in ACCtion update on how their program is getting involved. When reading these articles, we hope that it is evident that their efforts to give back result in so much more.
Comprised of more than 60 Boston College student-athletes, the BC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee became a vibrant part of the athletic department in 2003. BC's SAAC goals carry on the Jesuit tradition of service to others.
Student-athletes bring joy to the lives of many children by making frequent and spirited visits to nearby Franciscan Hospital for Children as well as Boston Children's Hospital. Last year, over 30 student-athletes visited the Franciscan Hospital for Children and 40 student-athletes visited the Boston Children's Hospital. The student-athletes spent individual time with the children as well as an arts and crafts session and holiday activities. They also donated gifts to the children.
"The continual building of a family here at Boston College, through players, administrators, and the community, is what I take the most pride in as a leader of the student-athletes" says Daniel Zepp, a football player at Boston College and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President. Boston College sends different student-athletes to the hospitals each month.
Additionally, the SAAC organizes monthly donations to the local chapter of Food for Families, helping hundreds of local families year-round, and hosts annual food and clothing drives. Around the holiday season, the SAAC provides gifts for needy children. All 31 varsity teams participated in buying holiday gifts which included clothes and toys to be sent out to the families in time for Christmas. "I have never been surrounded by such hard-working and committed people," says Angela Pandolfo, a SAAC representative from the softball team.
Working in conjunction with former BC baseball coach Mo Maloney, SAAC members are active in the HEAR - Helping Educate through Athletic Responsibility - program, a group that brings student-athletes into area elementary and middle schools to discuss life choices. "Being able to interact with and give back to the community is a huge part of what makes being a BC student-athlete so special. Whether we're visiting the Franciscan hospital, participating in the HEAR program or playing with kids at the PenPal picnic, it's always rewarding to see how much of an impact BC athletes can have on the lives of kids in the community" says Allison Anderson, a SAAC representative volleyball player.
The SAAC also helps coordinate the PenPal Program, which matches BC student-athletes with local school children. In 2006, the SAAC raised more than $500 to be donated to The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism Inc.