Albany, NY – The Sage Colleges’ athletic teams are firm believers that community service is an important part of their collegiate experience. Athletic Director Dani Drews and The Sage Colleges believe it so much that it is one of the first things that they have asked their 15 varsity teams to do at the beginning of each season.
Drews, who directs the Sage Department of Athletics and Recreation, said "We believe that teamwork is the best way to ensure that everyone succeeds. So, we have asked that our Gators give a little bit of their time and effort to help some of children in our community have a great year."
Drews suggested to the 2013-2014 Sage student-athletes that when they reported to campus for their preseason camps in both Albany and Troy, that each student-athlete bring with them a shoe box filled with school supplies to be donated to a local school. Drews added, “I saw an article about the Baldwin Wallace University football team doing a similar project and thought that this was definitely something I’d like us to do at Sage. All of us have had help along the way to go to Sage. It’s important for us to pay it forward,” Drews noted.
This is the first year of what the Gators hope will become an annual event and the project will continue throughout the course of the year with the winter and spring sports also participating in the program when their seasons approach. Sage has selected the William S. Hackett Middle School of Albany, New York for the "School Supplies for Kids" initiative.
The William S. Hackett Middle School was built in 1926 and named after Albany’s 67th mayor, William S. Hackett. Michael Paolini is currently Hackett’s lead principal. Hackett serves over 600 students in grades sixth through eighth and qualifies as a Title I school. The majority of the students attending Hackett qualify for the free lunch program, making this student body a wonderful selection of beneficiaries that can greatly profit from the Sage student-athletes’ donations.
On Tuesday, August 27 at 12:30 p.m. Sage student-athletes gathered at the Kahl Campus Center and load a van of back to school supplies for a mid-afternoon delivery of the items to the William S. Hackett Middle School.
With this new community service project the list of activities Sage’s student-athletes have participated in the area communities continues to grow. Over the last few years, Sage student-athletes have held a food drive for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, participated annually at the New York State Special Olympics Fall Games and the New York State Special Olympics Polar Plunge. Sage’s student-athletes have also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House preparing meals, while last year one team also performed community service at the Albany Rescue Mission; while another group helped to decorate the pediatric wing at Albany Medical Center.