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LMU Men's Hoops Spreads Holiday Cheer

Dec. 18, 2009

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In addition to traveling to all three of the time zones in the continental United States during the past month, LMU men's basketball got into the holiday spirit as part of the LMU Cares program. This month they traveled to Daniel Freeman Elementary School in Inglewood and spent some one-on-one time with students from the I Have a Dream Foundation program, an after-school program designed to help students be better leaders in their community.

In partnership with Project Knapsack, a pen pal and backpack exchange program, LMU men's basketball student-athletes and students from Daniel Freeman painted porcelain ornaments for the children at the Camp Ronald McDonald House for Good Times. Camp Ronald McDonald provides year-round supportive programs serving families and children impacted by cancer.

Each person painted two ornaments; one for themselves and the other for a child at Camp Ronald McDonald. The beautifully hand painted pieces will be used to decorate the Christmas tree during the holiday party at the hospital.

Upon the completion of the ornament project, everyone celebrated with a pizza party and feasted on home made holiday cookies. In efforts to spread even more cheer, each student was given a backpack filled with school supplies along with Under Armour t-shirts donated by Project Knapsack and The Rock Foundation, which promotes health and physical fitness and is headed by actor Dwayne Johnson.

LMU Cares is in its second year in partnership with Project Knapsack. The Rock Foundation joined the partnership this fall with the Charity Fashion Show and Basketball Jam Session facilitated by Project Knapsack and LMU Cares. The proceeds raised from the event will be used to expand the education initiatives at Daniel Freeman and Lennox Middle School.

Next month, members from the team will visit students at Jefferson Elementary School and work with them in writing first round draft letters to their new pen pals from the Chudleigh House School in Lusaka, Zambia. Freshman Given Kalipinde, who is in his first season with the Lions and is a native of Zambia, will speak to the students about what life was like growing up as a kid. For more information about Project Knapsack, visit http://www.projectknapsack.org .

Courtesy of LMU Sports Information