Past Community Service Projects
Men's Soccer Hosts AYSO Clinic
Northwestern men's soccer hosted a free skills clinic in its continued partnership with Evanston AYSO on Saturday, April 9. Nearly 200 boys and girls from around the area in the 8th grade or younger took part in the successful event, and even Willie the Wildcat made a special guest appearance at the end for the participants. After learning new skills and fundamentals, the Wee Wildcats were able to scrimmage against each other and play classic soccer games like "Sharks and Minnows" and "Crab Soccer." "We had a fantastic time today teaching our Wee Wildcats new soccer skills," said Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan. "Our partnership with Evanston AYSO is an integral part of the Northwestern men's soccer program and we look forward to continuing this special relationship."
Northwestern student-athletes make a weekly visit to Edison Elementary to answer questions including, but hardly limited to: their sport, position they play, fastest pitch, quickest 40-yard dash, favorite athletes, favorite movies and how it is living so far away from their parents. After some time in the classroom, everyone, with student-athletes leading the way, take time to play while incorporating skills lessons and sport specific tips for the active fifth-graders. Many of the fifth grade students echo the sentiment that "I can't wait for Fridays now! It's so fun to get to meet and play with the athletes." Nick Friar, a freshman Wildcat baseball player said, "It's nice to be able to share experiences with the children. They see us in positions they hope to be in some day, and it's cool to meet kids that appreciate the goals you've accomplished. I think they learned a lot about what to prioritize in life. (Football players) Will (Hampton), Davion (Fleming) and I put a lot of stress on the importance of school and hard work in the classroom, and the field as well. I also was able to express the importance of family to them, which I feel strongly about, and I think it's hard for kids to fully understand the importance of family at that age, so hopefully they were able to grasp that concept." "The presence of positive role models has motivated our students in ways we never imagined," said Maggie Lutz, student support coordinator at Edison Elementary. "Kids are starting to see that their academic behavior is linked to their success as athletes. They are beginning to learn that being an athlete is more than just having the physical ability...it's about determination, motivation and hard work."
Children's Heart Foundation
Northwestern men's Basketball team hosted 10 kids at practice on Tuesday, Feb. 15, then two days later the same kids were welcomed to the Wildcats' game against Iowa. One of the children acted as an honorary captain and all of the kids participated in gameday events such as the timeout dance contest. It was all to support Northwestern's upcoming Dance Marathon, which hopes to raise at least $800,000 to benefit the Children's Heart Foundation. "It's a blast," John Shurna said. "Working with little kids is great. Seeing them smile and having fun and playing with them, it's worth a lot." In addition to hosting Tuesday's event, coach Bill Carmody pledged to donate $1,000 to the Dance Marathon student group that brought the most members to NU's game against Iowa at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Carmody's donation will be added to the group's DM contribution to CHF. "I've had someone that I know who's had a heart defect," Carmody said. "So it just hit me. It's a great cause, and when you see those little faces out there and those smiles and they just light up, it makes you feel good."