BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College's nearly 450 student-athletes completed 2,915 hours of community service throughout the 2018-19 academic year.
"Service has been a staple at Moravian College for my entire career," commented Director of Athletics & Recreation and Head Women's Basketball Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "I am extremely proud that the Athletic Department continues to uphold this tradition of giving back within our community in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Our student-athletes are tremendous ambassadors for the teams 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 outstanding accomplishment when you total up all the hours the student-athletes and coaches participated in," Spirk continued. "It is not always easy to do with a hectic schedule, but every commitment is done with enthusiasm and a smile."
Each academic year, Moravian has a number of community service projects that have become tradition including 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 seventh 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 as well as student-athletes from other sports 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 $19,480 in 2019 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 335.5 hours or 22.3 hours per player on the squad while the football team put in a department high 587 hours and the men's basketball program had 279 hours. Moravian had five programs – men's basketball, women's basketball, football, women's soccer and men's and women's cross country/track & field surpass 250 hours this year and 12 programs registered over 100 hours of community service.