NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaching Association (IWLCA) named Marymount women's lacrosse as this year's Division III recipient of its Team Community Awareness Award, announced on Wednesday.
The IWLCA awards a team from each NCAA division, also including NAIA participants, that have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service in the academic year. At least 50 percent of the team's roster members must participate in the activities to be awarded.
"It's an honor to have our program recognized for our commitment to service," said head coach Kate Athing. "We place an emphasis on meaningful and consistent service experiences. It makes me proud that my student-athletes dedicate their time each week of the school year to serving others on top of all their other commitments. We are grateful to serve alongside each other and are thankful for our community partners who have welcomed us into their communities and lives."
The Saints consistently maintain a strong presence in the community. Throughout the years, they have fostered a strong relationship with AHC Inc., an organization that focuses on building affordable and mixed-income housing in the Washington-Baltimore metro region.
Additionally, the Saints have spent the last near-decade volunteering with the resident services side of AHC Inc., working with its elementary after-school program. Serving here gives the team a chance to work hand-in-hand with a member of the community for the year, helping with school work and other mentorship responsibilities.
"I've been volunteering with the AHC After-School Program for the past three years and I can honestly say that I've loved every second of it," said senior Erin Cannon. "Through this experience, I've been able to develop a one-on-one mentorship with a child and she's become another little sibling to me. I love spending time with her, hearing about her week, goofing around with her, and watching her get smarter and grow every year."
"Our elementary school students eagerly look forward to their time reading and playing with their lacrosse team buddies every Tuesday," said Laura Jackson, the Resident Services Volunteer Coordinator for AHC INC. "The team also collects holiday gift bags for students from other Marymount sports teams, volunteers at AHC's Thanksgiving feast and delivers Christmas trees to residents' apartments. Thank you for your dedication to AHC and we appreciate all you do for our residents!"
On top of its work with AHC Inc., the team has worked closely with Culpepper Gardens for the past three years. The organization is an affordable senior living community located in Arlington, Va., and the Saints have helped the community during the spring and fall seasons to keep up with landscaping efforts.
The IWLCA gives out one Community Awareness Award for each division annually. Marymount is the first Atlantic East program to be recognized for the award.