BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College's nearly 450 student-athletes completed 3,127 hours of community service throughout the 2017-18 academic year.
"Service has been a staple at Moravian College for as long as I can remember," stated Director of Athletics & Recreation and Head Women's Basketball Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "I am proud that the Athletic Department can continue to uphold this tradition of giving back within our community in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Our student-athletes are tremendous ambassadors for each team they represent and for the entire Moravian community. They give their time and energy, in addition to keeping up with their school work and sport, to give back.
"It is an amazing accomplishment when you total up all the hours the student athletes and coaches volunteer and serve," continued Spirk. "It is not always easy to do with a busy schedule, but every commitment is done with enthusiasm and a smile. Our department is ready to continue to serve our community in the future.
The Greyhounds have a number of community service projects throughout the year with members of each team heading to both Marvine Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem once a week for after school programs. Moravian's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its sixth annual Special Olympics Basketball Tournament in April involving all 19 teams and also collected funds to purchase Christmas gifts for families through Turning Point. Each team also helped out on a pair of field days for William Penn Elementary School to teach skills.
Moravian's student-athletes also contribute to on-campus events, most noteworthy is Moravian's Heritage Day with nearly all of the Greyhounds participating in a day of service with students, faculty and staff across campus. The fall teams also spend a Friday morning in August helping the new incoming freshmen class move into the dormitories.
The men's and women's basketball teams were two of the top teams on campus in hours served in part to work with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund's Play4Kay initiative that saw the women's team raise $19,657 in 2018 and spending the first two weeks of January working with Lehigh Valley Cops 'n Kids reading at local elementary schools during the College's semester break. The women's soccer team also worked with Cops 'n Kids while the football team was highly involved with the Five Star Heart mentoring program and the Be the Match Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive. The field hockey and women's lacrosse teams also spent time working with youth teams.
The women's basketball squad led the way with 418 hours or 24.6 hours per player on the squad while the football team put in a department high 457 hours and the men's basketball program had 261 hours. Moravian had eight teams – men's basketball, women's basketball, field hockey, football, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, women's soccer and women's volleyball as well as SAAC surpass 100 hours this year.