Comfort for Cancer Survivors

By Pat Gregoire '14

Two young women making blankets for the Breast Cancer Network of BuffaloConference championships and NCAA tournament appearances have set a high standard for the Medaille College athletic department. The Mavericks’ greatest impact, however, has been away from play as they care for others in the Western New York community.

Medaille’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a council of student athletes promoting unity between the student body through athletics, and most importantly, service to their community.

“The SAAC has an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of the student athletes and those around us,” says Karen Shaddock, interim assistant athletic director, sports information director and SAAC advisor. “Volunteering in the community for different causes helps to put our lives in perspective. We tend to get caught up with school, work and sports that we forget how fortunate we are. We need to be proud of the place we live.”

Shaddock, associate athletic director Laura Edholm and the SAAC executive board wanted to get involved in service with breast cancer patients and survivors during the month of October. Shaddock, Edholm and student athletes worked together to make blankets to be donated to the Breast Cancer Network of Buffalo.

“We wanted to do something we haven’t done before and give our student athletes the chance to get their hands dirty, so to speak,” says Edholm. “Wanting to keep things local, I called an organization I had heard about and made the connection.”

Edholm, SAAC executives and other student athletes traveled to the Clarence United Methodist Church to present blankets to facilitators of the network during a luncheon. The service work does not end there; SAAC has many other events planned for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year. Upcoming events include play days with kids at Women and Children’s Hospital and volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Shaddock and members of the men’s lacrosse team are also planning a Bald for Bucks event next semester.

“Our goal for SAAC this year is to give back to the community as much as possible,” concludes Shaddock. “I look for the student athletes’ feedback for the types of events to participate in because I would like them to be passionate about the causes for which they volunteer.”

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