BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College's nearly 425 student-athletes have completed 2,795 hours of community service throughout the 2019-20 academic year.
"Service has been a staple at Moravian College for as long as I can remember," explained 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 schoolwork 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. Teams also helped out with a field day 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 $19,053 in 2020 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. Both squads participated in the VIA basketball clinic last November and the men's basketball team joined with Team IMPACT to "sign" 10-year-old Ezekiel Rodas, who is battling cystic fibrosis.
The women's soccer squad also worked with Cops 'n Kids while the football team was highly involved with the Five Star Heart mentoring program and Read Across America. The women's lacrosse team also spent time working with youth teams in Florida while the men's lacrosse team took part in Boo at the Lehigh Valley Zoo. The baseball and softball squads did a Capture the Cure tournament for a heart transplant recipient, and the baseball team also participated in the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. The women's volleyball program helped with the Bethlehem Special Olympics Volleyball team while the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams helped with the VIA marathon.
The women's basketball squad led the way with 406.5 hours or 23.9 hours per player on the squad while the baseball team had 359 hours and the men's basketball program had 276 hours. Moravian had nearly all of its teams surpass 100 hours this year.