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Penn State Altoona Athletics Recognized by AMCC for Community Service Efforts
CRESSON, Pa. - Penn State Altoona athletics was announced as the winner of two community service awards given by the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference at the conclusion of the conference's annual spring meetings on Tuesday.
The AMCC has placed an emphasis on community service by its 10 member institutions. In the 2012-2013 academic year, student-athletes, coaches, and staff members at these schools contributed more than 5,000 hours to helping others in both local and national activities.
The conference recognized individual schools for their efforts by awarding a gold, silver, and bronze status in three community service categories: One-Time Event, Ongoing Activity, and Array of Activities.
Penn State Altoona athletics took the gold in the Ongoing Activity category for its work with the Special Olympics of Blair County, and it was awarded the silver in One-Time Event for the Special Olympics-benefitting Zumba Concert.
Spearheaded by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Penn State Altoona's involvement with the SOBC increased during the 2012-2013 year. SAAC members, other student-athletes, team coaches, and athletics staff members combined to take part in 27 volunteering dates with the SOBC. They assisted with the group's sports of basketball, bocce, bowling, swimming, and volleyball.
This ongoing community service began in October and lasted through April. Penn State Altoona volunteers coached, cheered, and instructed Special Olympics athletes in the five sports.
"The goal that was put in place by our SAAC was met this school year. The difference made in the Special Olympics athletes' lives can be seen in the joy they obtain from getting to interact with our volunteers," said Penn State Altoona SAAC Advisor Billy Clapper. "The partnership that was created by the NCAA Division III and the Special Olympics several years ago has turned into something bigger at Penn State Altoona -- it has become a friendship."
Penn State Altoona's award-winning One-Time Event was its Zumba Concert on April 8, which was the first of its kind held on campus. Members of SAAC, the cross country team, and women's soccer team joined with staff members to host a two hour Zumba fitness concert in the Adler Gym that raised money to benefit the SOBC. The workout event included a full stage and lighting to create a party-like atmosphere for the enthusiastic group of participants.
"The project brought together Penn State Altoona students who wanted to join in a fitness event and have a great experience," said Clapper. "The concert received amazing feedback from both the students and instructors."
The Penn State Altoona SAAC plans to continue growing its partnership with the SOBC in the 2013-2014 year. To visit the group's website, go to: http://www.altoona.psu.edu/sports/saac .