Radford University student-athletes collected more than 13,000 pounds of charitable food items during the 2012-13 academic year to win the Big South Conference's Kallander Cup, awarded annually for achievement in the league's selected community service initiative selected by the conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). RU's SAAC representatives received the award at last weekend's annual Big South Leadership Conference.
In all, Highlander student-athletes collected 13,299 pounds of food, an average of 44.33 pounds per student-athlete, for donation to the local food bank in the New River Valley. Winthrop finished second with an average of 41.67 pounds per student-athlete. As a conference, the 12 member institutions gathered nearly 50,000 pounds of non-perishable food for donation.
"Once again the Big South Conference student-athletes amaze and astound us," said Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander. "Collecting nearly 25 tons of food for those less fortunate shows how selfless and truly dedicated they are, and what serving their community means to them. I am so proud to be associated with the Big South student-athletes. This illustrates the sincere meaning of Developing Leaders Through Athletics."
The total weight of the food items collected by each institution was divided by the total number of student-athletes to determine the per pound average. The school with the highest average was declared the winner of the 2012-13 Kallander Cup.
Radford Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg commended the RU student-athletes and SAAC for this accomplishment.
"Community service is an extremely important part of the mission of our athletics department. I commend all of our student-athletes for helping us win this prestigious award. I want to especially thank our Student-Athletes Advisory Committee for their leadership and our Student Services Department led by Stephanie Ballein, Leslie Anderson, and Alix Guynn. Their efforts have truly made a difference for many people in our community."
"I am proud of the hard work and dedication our SAAC organization put into this community service project," said Ballein, associate director of athletics for student-athlete support services and senior woman administrator. "As a result of their time and commitment, we were able to help our community by stocking the local food bank. The participation and support from campus organizations enabled us to exceed our goal, which was to raise over 10,000 lbs of canned food for the community."
The Radford Athletics SAAC, led by President and senior women's soccer student-athlete Lauren Markey, organized the efforts on campus and throughout the Radford community to collect food items at home sporting events and numerous other civic functions to out-distance other Big South institutions and win the Cup.
"RU receiving the Kallander Cup for our volunteer work was a group effort," Markey said. "Our SAAC members felt passionate about this year's project, which helped us set high goals and surpass them. Getting Radford students, all of the athletics teams, and most importantly, the community involved enabled us to win this important competition. I am proud of all the Big South schools for their participation. Thanks to everyone's efforts, people in our respective communities received the food donations they needed."
Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.