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Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

Bulldogs Continue Community Involvement This Spring

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 05/03/2012
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Spokane, Wash. - The student-athletes of Gonzaga University spent yet another semester involved on campus and in the community this spring. Along with the third annual Baseball Tailgater and Cornhole Tournament, the Zags continued their volunteerism in the Spokane area.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) partnered with Kennel Club, Student Activities Board, G+, and the Programming Board to host a safe Baseball Tailgater on April 13 prior to the team's home game against Santa Clara. In an effort to support the Baseball program and build camaraderie amongst GU's varsity team, the event also built ties with campus organizations and all of Gonzaga's students were invited to attend. Nearly 200 students participated in a corn-hole tournament, with the winners taking home custom GU corn-hole sets. Members of the Men's Cross Country and Men's Rowing teams respectively won the championship and consolation brackets. Thanks to the months spent planning by S.A.A.C. and the campus partners, another very successful event was achieved, as well as a final opportunity for student-athletes to gather before summer break.

Zags from every team contributed many hours to serving the Spokane community this spring. GU student-athletes proudly volunteered countless hours to several Spokane charities and other organizations this semester and finish the 2011-2012 year by cumulating over 1,800 of community outreach hours.

In March, elementary schools held events to celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday and encouraged their students to read. The Bulldogs made appearances at these events to encourage literacy and join in the celebration. Garfield, Grant, Cooper and Prairie View Elementary Schools involved some of the Zags in their reading day celebrations.

On March 9, members of the Men's Golf Team visited the Ronald McDonald House of Charity, which provides temporary lodging, comfort and support for families of children accessing medical services and supports related efforts to improve children's health. The Zags toured the facilities and were able to serve a meal to the families staying there.

The Women's Rowing team had the opportunity to visit students at Grant Elementary on March 12 and demonstrated their rowing skills. The youth were able to learn more about the sport of rowing and how to be active directly from GU's Rowing team.

Many GU student-athletes impacted the community at elementary schools and the Union Gospel Mission on a regular basis this spring. The Zags made appearances at physical education classes to encourage healthy lifestyles and at library classes to encourage literacy. The Zags also served meals at UGM. These are proud partnerships for Gonzaga Athletics and the student-athletes.

While many students celebrated Easter at home with their families, several of the Zags were able to join St. Margaret's Women and Children's Shelter, a branch of Catholic Charities of Spokane, in their Easter celebration. The Zags planned and organized an Easter Egg Hunt for the youth of the Shelter. The Zags were happy to set up a fun Easter event for at-risk children in the Spokane Community.

The 2011-2012 Student-Athlete Leadership Institute organized a field day for Grant Elementary's students on April 23 and 24. Members from nearly all of GU's teams directed several activities and effectively displayed leadership and served as mentors to the young students of Grant Elementary. S.A.A.C. representatives from the Baseball team also hosted a special guest, William Farley from the Spokane community, to throw the first pitch at their game on April 29th and to recognize his courageous battle with cancer. Gonzaga's student-athletes wrapped up the month of April by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in their spring project. Habitat for Humanity, a Christian relief organization, is in the process of building homes for members of the surrounding Spokane community.

The Zags look forward to staying involved in their hometown and Spokane communities over the summer and returning to another year of involvement opportunities this fall.

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