Pictured: Student-athletes faced the freezing water temperatures for the Polar Plunge in early February 2020, raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
New York Tech earned a top 10 finish in the fall 2019 NCAA Team Works and Helper Helper Challenge, an annual competition to get student-athletes across America more involved in their communities. Tech also came in second place for volunteer work among all East Coast Conference schools.
New York Tech student-athletes logged 3,412 hours of community service since July 1, 2019.
The Tech men’s lacrosse team logged the most hours with 810 hours. Baseball was second with 591 hours, and the indoor and outdoor track and field teams followed with 589 and 533 hours, respectively. The total impact of the 3,412 hours was more than $86,000.
“Not only do we have an outstanding group of young men on the field but off the field [they’re] even better. We are always stressing to give back, and this is one of the ways all of the guys give back, among others,” said Bill Dunn, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team. “Part of being a member of this program is working in the community, and everyone knows that coming in as a freshman.”
In early February, Bears’ student-athletes volunteered 540 hours with the League of Yes and 483 hours for the Polar Bear Plunge that benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation, making these the two highest causes that Tech student-athletes supported.
Members of the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams volunteered at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Walk in October 2019.
“[First baseman] Nick Tedesco is the guy on the team that spearheads most of the community service. Nick has a relationship with the League of YES and lets me know when and where they have events that fit our schedule,” said Frank Catalanotto, baseball head coach. “The team loves to be involved in the various activities we do throughout the year. Whenever we do community service, each guy, to a man, is engaged and participates. The smiles the team can put on faces of people that are there is heartwarming.”
Tech cross country and track and field student-athlete Heidi Abrahamsen logged the most hours on an individual basis, logging in at 83 hours.
“Volunteering has always come naturally to me; I always look to help others [in the way] I would want to be helped, how you treat others [in the way] you would want to be treated,” she said. “Besides the countless hours devoted to education and team practices, we believe that volunteering builds character. Volunteering shows that student-athletes here at Tech go above and beyond by being more than just a student going to class or an athlete on the field but individuals who like to use their time to the best of their ability.”
Charity races, youth clinics, Relay for Life, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk, hospital visits, New York Tech move-in day, holiday cards, Day of Giving, and visiting nursing homes on Long Island were among the initiatives that benefitted from hours volunteered by Bears student-athletes.
“New York Tech women’s lacrosse understands the importance of giving back to the community. This program puts in many hours each year helping those who are in need,” said Kerri Handras, women’s lacrosse head coach. “They always go above and beyond what is expected of them. Selfless acts of kindness and their willingness to donate their time and services is what makes this team so special. I am very proud of all their hard work on and off the field.”
“The importance of our team’s community service is to provide an opportunity for our student-athletes to become ambassadors and become members of the community by giving back to those who need assistance,” said Lenroy Raffington, track and field head coach. “This will have a positive impact on our student-athletes from which they will gain life skills, knowledge, and a sense of responsibility to their community.”