As a testament to St. John’s University’s commitment to community service, Red Storm student-athletes took part in the 11th annual University Service Day Sept. 29, which was organized by St. John’s University’s Service Opportunity Council.
“University Service Day is one of the many occasions during the year when our student-athletes rise to the occasion,” said Chris Monasch, director of athletics. “We are proud that they have once again lived up to our mantra of ‘Win. Graduate. Serve.’”
Kicking off this year’s Service Day a week early was the second annual Dribble for the Cure event, where more than $25,000 was raised for pediatric cancer research. Members of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams served as volunteers throughout the day by assisting the more than 400 participants, while also helping promotion and fund-raising efforts for the event.
The women’s basketball team also spent a day volunteering with Catholic Charities at Madeleine Jones Head Start. The student-athletes assisted in reorganizing and painting some of the locations’ storage areas.
The St. John’s softball team hit the bowling lanes in support of the Department of Veteran Affairs of St. Albans Community Living. The squad helped with setup, decorations, scorekeeping and even got to bowl a few frames with the veterans.
“This year’s University Service Day was a great experience,” said senior Chrissy Montez. “It was amazing that we were able to interact with the veterans and we even got to bowl against some of them as well. It was so nice to see how happy they were.”
For the third straight year St. John’s lacrosse took part in the Tower to the Tunnels Run, which remembers FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who gave his life during the rescue efforts of Sept. 11. The 5K run follows the path Siller took when he had to leave his truck near the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and ran with 60 pounds of gear to the World Trade Center. The run helps raise money for the foundation in Siller’s name and provides support to the grieving children and healing firefighters affected by the 9/11 attacks.
The track and field team provided their painting and cleaning services to the Heartshare First Step Early Childhood Center, while the women’s soccer team remained on campus to make cards for Give Kids the World, a nonprofit for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
University Service Day was coordinated through the Service Opportunity Council and its liaison to athletics, Administrative Assistant for Student Development and Academic Support Joanne Zissel. St. John’s campus minister Angela Seegel helped coordinate the different placements for the athletic teams.