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Falcon ‘Good Works’ initiative helping River Falls community

December 16, 2011

New to the UW-River Falls Athletic Department this semester is Falcon Good Works on the athletics website, informing the public on the good things going on in the department, said Jim Thies, sports information director.

The description on the Falcon Good Works page reads; “Falcon student-athletes and their coaches are involved in the community! Enjoy reading about what Falcons do to benefit the community outside of their athletics events!”

Thies said that the idea behind Falcon Good Works is to emphasize the positive things the athletes are doing outside of their sport.

“Too many times in athletics you hear about the negatives and not the good things going on, we worked as a department to highlight these things, get the positives out,” said Thies.

Most recently, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted their Kids Day Out on Dec. 11. This is a time for parents to drop their kids off so they can get in some holiday shopping or errands done. Athletes from all sports volunteer to help chaperone while the kids play games, eat, and watch movies.

The softball team volunteered at the Feed My Starving Children Organization on Dec. 13 and the women’s basketball game against UW-Stout on Dec. 14 was called “Playing for the Cure.” Bob & Steve’s BP Amoco Shops made a donation of $12,500 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, on behalf of the UWRF and UW-Stout game.

“It doesn’t have to be a major thing, it could be on your drive home from a game and the team pulls over to help someone with a flat tire,” said Thies.

Thies said UWRF is located in a great community and the student-athletes are involved in a lot of things. This is a way for the athletes to say thanks by raising money for various causes and giving back to the community.

Coming up this year is the Polar Plunge being put on by the NCAA and their partnership with the Special Olympics. It will be on Feb. 26 at UW-Eau Claire and all UWRF athletes are encouraged to participate. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams plan on participating with the Polar Plunge, said sophomore Kimberly Lueck, who is on the women’s team.

“It shows that we are dedicated to more than just the sports we play and we care about the community and the school as a whole,” said Lueck about Falcon Good Works.

There are annual events such as SAAC’s Trick or Treat for canned goods, which have been going on for years, and there are events like the women’s softball going to Feed My Starving Children Organization, which is new this year.

Thies said that the athletic department encourages teams and coaches to let the department know about these situations so the University and community can hear about them. More information and events can be found on the UWRF Athletics website.