Did you know that Post University has 19 NCAA Division II sports? It’s the largest number of NCAA Division II teams in the CACC conference. Not only do we have a record number of teams, but also our athletes and coaches believe in giving back to the community. So far this year, they have put in 2,030 community service hours at 35 different volunteer events affecting 20 area organizations. Among other Division II schools, Post ranked in the top 20 for the number of community service hours across the country.
We turned our University blog over to Lucas Smith, captain of the Men’s Ice Hockey Team, to talk about the teams’ philanthropic spirit and the charities they have supported through their hockey games. Catholic Academy of Waterbury will recognize the Eagle’s Men’s Hockey Team along with their Coach Peter Whitney in April for their volunteer efforts at the school.
This year the Post University Men’s Ice Hockey Team held a fundraiser game in support of Military Appreciation on February 16. With such a large Military presence both within our team and at the University, it only seemed fitting to dedicate a night to the Military. While the players were involved in the game, an amazing group of volunteers comprised of athletes from other sports and various student groups took the time to raise funds and awareness through activities such as: 50/50, raffle, door prizes, jersey, and hat sales. We also collected food bank items to help the local food bank in our community as well.
This year the team decided to donate our funds to United Heroes League. The United Heroes League actively works to ensure that the children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in sports. They provide Military families opportunities to get involved in sports like, free sports equipment, game tickets, cash grants, and summer camps to military families across the US & Canada.
As the captain of the Men’s Ice Hockey team, I feel it is extremely important to hold these types of awareness games. Not only do such games benefit a great cause, but equally as important, they bring the community together; through athletics. We were able to raise awareness through three distinct groups, (1) the color guard from American Legion Post 10 in Seymour, (2) a Navy sailor, Peter Vercekas, from Waterbury dropped the puck, and (3) the Squirts from the Watertown Youth Hockey team lined up, on the ice, with our team during the national anthem. As a team, we constantly look to give back to the communities we serve as much as possible. In doing so, we are able to see that there is more to life than our degrees and athletics. If we can help people, even just a bit, with the little that we are able to do as a team; if we can make someone else’s life better or more comfortable, then we believe we can make a difference.
Last year for Autism Speaks we raised roughly $6,500, and we thought that was great! This year, however, we exceeded that and were able to raise $8,000 for the United Hero’s League! We can only imagine the life changing opportunities the United Hero’s league will be able to provide with this money. With two years of special event games, we have raised roughly $14,500. We would never be able to do this without the help of the University and the community. More importantly, we wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without the many people who have donated money and time to make these events so special. We cannot thank them enough! We hope to raise more money and awareness in the future and continue to grow our events.
Thank you to everyone for all of your help and support.