BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team recently wrapped up a busy fall in the community as the Mountain Hawks volunteered at local elementary schools and assisted at the Bethlehem Boys and Girls Club. This comes after the Mountain Hawks aided local cleanup efforts following Hurricane Irene.
The team split into three groups and sent approximately 15 student-athletes to three different locations every Wednesday for 10 weeks.
“I am proud of the efforts that our young men put into these important community service events this semester,” said Smith Family Head Lacrosse Coach Kevin Cassese. “They brought their full energy and focus every week in an effort to make a difference in the lives of young people in our community.”
One group helped out at the Boys and Girls Club of South Bethlehem, where the student-athletes aided with homework and played basketball, kickball, board games, ping pong and pool. Another group went to Calypso Elementary School in North Bethlehem, taking part in an after school program which consisted of 30 minutes of homework, then 30 minutes of outdoor sports and recess. The rest of the Mountain Hawks helped at Donegan Elementary School in South Bethlehem as part of the Reading Rocks program (run through Lehigh’s COACH program). The student-athletes helped the children learn to read, helped with homework projects, played board games and more.
“The feedback from the directors at each location has been terrific,” said Cassese. “It’s great to see the impact that our players have had on these children, as well as the impact these children have had on our players. That relationship is so incredibly powerful and I am glad the members of this program were able to gain those valuable experiences.”
“Since Coach Casesse came to Lehigh, one of his top priorities was to involve his student athletes in Community Service,” said Community Relations Coordinator Roseann Corsi, who helped coordinate the events. “The lacrosse team has truly made a difference in the community by helping children with homework, reading and special projects. But most of all, they are a role model to all these children.”
The Mountain Hawks totaled close to 500 individual hours of community service over the fall semester.
“When you see our student-athletes connecting and helping these children, it just makes you realize what a big impact we have in making a difference and improving their education,” said Corsi. “The schools look forward to our lacrosse team because they are committed to giving their time to helping others.”