Illion, N.Y. – When you need to move 1600 concrete blocks more than 200 feet down a steep, wet slope who do you call? That was what the Herkimer County Habitat for Humanity organization had to figure out on Saturday. Their answer came in the form of 31 players from the Utica College men’s lacrosse team. These students, who hail from Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and all over the state of New York, volunteered their time on Saturday morning to accomplish this colossal task. The team moved all 1600 blocks to the foundation site of this year’s “Habitat Home” on Jerusalem Hill Road in Illion.
Utica College coaches Mike Parnell, Nick Evanoff, and Gary Jackson volunteered the team for three reasons. Parnell said, “This is a terrific way for the team to give back to the community; to use their time together for team building, and of course it’s a great physical workout!”
Senior team captain, Mick Krajacic, from Cicero-North Syracuse High School, said, “People helping people is a powerful thing, and we saw a family in need of a hand, so we volunteered our time to help the community.”
Whitesboro native and Utica College sophomore, Joe Schoen stated, “Habitat For Humanity gave us a chance to come closer together as a team while doing some hard work to help others in need.”
Assistant coach Gary Jackson of Ilion helped coordinate the event between the Utica College student-athletes and Habitat For Humanity. “This is wonderful that these young adults are giving back to the community and enjoying it,” stated Jackson. “Each of the players is asked to donate time to community service.”
Coach Parnell added, “”This is an opportunity that benefits everyone. We will continue to volunteer whenever we can.”” The team will also be working at the Utica Zoo’s Halloween Spooktacular during the last weekend in October.
View their hard day at work in the Utica Photo Gallery.