Dec. 6, 2006
Moraga, CA- On Friday, December 1 the Saint Mary's Women's Soccer team completed their semester long pen-pal program with a visit to the 3rd grade class at Camino Pablo Elementary in Moraga. The Gaels brought cupcakes and spent an hour with their pen-pals answering questions and interacting with the kids.
It was the perfect end to a great program that was created this year by the women's soccer staff. Monica Gerardo, an assistant coach, was the primary contact on the project, after successfully implementing a program similar to this at the University of Pittsburg. The Gaels exchanged letters on a weekly basis with the third grade class, and many of the students attended the Gaels final home game of the year versus Santa Clara. "This was a great experience for the entire team. Community relations is something we really stress as a program and we're looking forward to doing more work in the spring"
Community involvement is a very important part of the student-athlete experience that newly appointed athletic director Mark Orr continually encourages. "We feel a strong responsibility to give back to our community, as it is a privilege to be a part of the Saint Mary's family. We feel it is not only a benefit to the community, but an integral part of the growth of the student-athlete at Saint Mary's."
In addition to the women's soccer pen-pal program, Saint Mary's has had many other athletic programs participating in community events throughout the fall. The athletic department has partnered with the Concord Youth Center to provide two student-athlete volunteers on a weekly basis to work with the kids on schoolwork and various other activities.
The softball team, lacrosse team and spirit team all participated in the Breast Cancer Walk in San Francisco in October. The lacrosse team volunteered at the Doris Day House in Oakland. Men's basketball participated in the NABC reading program for the sixth consecutive year. The crew team has partnered with the Girl Scouts and also participated in a Halloween Read Aloud Day with the Oakland School District. Finally, women's basketball volunteered their time at the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival and at the Pear Festival.