The IWLCA announces Elyse Andrews of the University of Delaware, Christina Luca of the University of New Haven and Mandy Buell of Gettysburg College as the 2015 IWLCA Community Awareness Award Winners.
The Community Awareness Award recognizes those student-athletes who have contributed significantly to their community in a given year. These students have given their time and energy to support and develop athlete-community relations and have distinguished themselves from their peers.
Elyse Andrews is a pre-med honors student who maintains a 3.9 cumulative GPA, and has been able to balance academics with the demands of being a Division I student-athlete for a program that is on the rise to national prominence. In addition to aspiring to be the best student and athlete she can be, Elyse, who is the epitome of an unsung hero, always strives to make a difference in the lives of others daily.
In this past year alone, Elyse dedicated over 300 hours to community service endeavors including the The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, Exceptional Care for Children, Christiana Health System, AI DuPont Children’s Hospital, Milcroft Nursing Home and the Delaware Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. What truly distinguished her efforts in the community was her ability to inspire her teammates and the other UD teams to create lasting and meaningful relationships with several B + Heroes. Elyse’s leadership inspired our team to dedicate the season to our hero, Abby Supplee. In addition to rallying our team to support the B + Foundation, her work led six other teams to adopt heroes and the Delaware community to raise nearly $1.5 million for the cause at this year’s UDance.
Christina Luca worked with the New Haven women’s lacrosse graduate assistant as the community service coordinator for the team this past year. She has personally dedicated more than 70 hours of her time off the field to community service initiatives including Midnight Run, a campus organization that delivers food, clothing and toiletries to the homeless in downtown New Haven. She has collected donations and personally made deliveries for this cause.
She has also been involved in mentoring elementary school students, the New Haven Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, New Reach, the Connecticut Food Bank, created Easter bags for the homeless and was a significant participant in the New Haven Lax for Life initiative.
Mandy Buell – Gettysburg College
Gettysburg College senior women’s lacrosse player Mandy Buell wanted to do more than just play lacrosse and earn a degree in mathematics in her final year on campus. An avid exercise enthusiast away from the field, Buell wanted to ensure young children had the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities and she contacted the College’s Center for Public Service to find a way to contribute to the community.
Working with CPS and Project Gettysburg-Leon, Buell was able to bring joy and happiness to a community of children in Monte Horeb, a small community on the outskirts of Leon, Nicaragua. Buell spearheaded an effort to raise money to build a playground in Monte Horeb with the focus of those fundraising efforts being the “First Annual Race for Kids 5K” during the fall. Nearly 60 competitors took part in the race and helped Buell exceed her fundraising goal by raising $1,200 for the playground.
The playground was installed earlier this spring and included a slide, two sets of swings, and a see-saw in vibrant hues of red, yellow, and blue.
Meanwhile, Buell did her part on the lacrosse field, leading Gettysburg into the national playoffs for the fourth time in as many seasons and earning first-team all-conference, first-team all-region, and first-team All-America honors.