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Community Service (Summer 2017)

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The men and women of the United States Naval Academy have committed themselves to the service of our nation. During their four years in Annapolis, the Midshipmen demonstrate their willingness to give by taking part in several community service events.

From outreach opportunities such as autograph sessions following athletic events, to working with underprivileged youths, the student-athletes at Navy give back to the area they call home during their college years.

The following are a few examples of community service opportunities performed by Navy athletics during the 2016-17 academic year.

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As a part of the 2017 Freedom Classic, the team volunteered its time at the James and Connie Maynard Children's Hospital at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville and later with a youth baseball camp at Grainger Stadium in Kinston.

The team also hosted its annual free skills clinic for local area youths as preparation for their upcoming Little League seasons after a home game in March.

The team adopted a young girl from Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers and to raise awareness through their Adopt-A-Child, Safe on the Sidelines and Guardian Angel Programs. They do this by pairing the afflicted child and their siblings with local sports teams, campus clubs, and arts programs in their community.

The team also participated in the "Score for Schools" program, where the team goes to elementary/middle schools and gives motivational talks to the students at assemblies and instructed at basketball clinics at NSA Annapolis.

Four players visited a veteran's retirement home. Players visited a Children's Hospital and installed fire alarms for people in need during bowl week activities in Fort Worth. Several members of the team spoke at various elementary and middle schools around Annapolis. Multiple players and staff volunteered to speak to underprivileged youth members of The Five Star Heart Project during their annual visit to Naval Academy. Several players volunteered at the PALS Hawks youth football camp.

The team volunteered for the Central Elementary School 5k Tiger Trot and April Fools Day Run in an effort to raise funds for classroom and school improvements.

The sprint program also supported the North County Family Reunion 2017 Event for the youth K-12 in coordination with Men of Courage International (MOCI). MOCI is achieving its mission of ending ‘fatherlessness" by enriching the families of Annapolis and across Anne Arundel County through our two programs: Strong Dads and Community and Family Enrichment Corp. of Maryland (CFEM).

The team continued its association with the TEAM IMPACT program. The team added Sully Shields, a local youth with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma to its team in 2015 and have continued to foster a tight-nit and valuable relationship with the child.

The team also volunteered for Walk for Wishes, Annapolis 2017. The team supported this event with Sully Shields and his family in an effort to grant the wishes of local kids battling life-threatening medical conditions.

The team also had several members that supported the Special Olympics.

The team had the privilege of volunteering with the Honor Flight program in early April. Members of the team traveled to the BWI airport to welcome 23 World War II veterans and one Korean War veteran and their families as they came to visit the Nation's Capital. The upper class members of the team ran the 9/11 Heroes Run in support of the Travis Manion Foundation. Several members of the team volunteered their time to coach kids ages 6 to 14 at Paragon Gymnastics in order to help the kids get ready for the 2017 gymnastics season.

Hosted the Annapolis Boys and Girls Club where they took part in the first-annual Christmas Lax Ball, benefitting inner city children. Every child was paired up with a Navy lacrosse player, who then put the child through a brief lax clinic, followed by a talk from head coach Rick Sowell and the Mayor of Annapolis. Each child received a t-shirt and a signed poster of the team.

The team also participated in the 26th annual Giving Tree program at the Naval Academy. Every year midshipmen from the Naval Academy's sixth company decorate a holiday tree with paper angel ornaments provided by the Salvation Army. Each paper angel has the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents in the local community and contributors can remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase gifts for the child or children. The lacrosse team selected three tags and replaced them with a number of gifts to make this holiday season a special one for a number of local children.

Lastly, the team continued its affiliation with Team IMPACT and adoptee 6-year-old Grayson Osborne of Edgewater as our team member (they also adopted his sister Annabelle and his brother Holden). Team IMPACT connects children facing life-threatening and chronic illness with college sports teams in hopes of inspiring and motivating them. The child gains great strength, camaraderie and support and the student athletes are taught lessons about courage, resiliency and life perspective that they can't learn in a classroom.

Members of the Navy women's lacrosse team surprised Wheatley Elementary School in Washington D.C, to deliver gifts they collected for 14 kindergarteners.

The team volunteered at this year's Special Olympics. The players were matched up with a participant in the Special Olympics, and guided them and cheered them on while they ran through their events.

The players helped coach fifth and sixth graders on one of the BAYS lacrosse teams. Members of the team volunteered at the Marine Corps Marathon and the Travis Manion 5K in Annapolis.

Several team members participated in the Mids for Kids program - reading and mentoring at local elementary schools.

The team hosted a sailing event for Recovering Warriors in both September and April. Veterans and their family members were brought from Bethesda to Annapolis and sailed a series of races off the Annapolis City Dock. At the end of the racing, there was lunch and an awards ceremony with Annapolis officials presiding.

Worked Special Olympics as a team, attended the Down Syndrome Connection Party as a team and held a free clinic in the spring.

The Navy squash players interacted with two urban squash programs, Baltimore Squash Wise and San Francisco Bay Area Squash Drive. Each event included interacting with urban youths on the squash court and the classroom.

The team participated in the aquatic portion of the annual Maryland Special Olympics held at the Naval Academy as well as Swim Across America, where Navy swimmers served as "guardian angel" swimmers for participants in this swim across the Magothy River for cancer research.

The tennis team participated in the 24 Hours of Tennis benefit held by the Tennis Alliance of Anne Arundel County. This was a community event to raise awareness within the tennis community for a new indoor center in Anne Arundel County. Their motto is "Tennis for Everyone" and the Navy players all helped bring this to life at the event. Players participated in clinics and instruction for players of all ages. The team also participated in a kids clinic at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic.

Volunteered at the Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. to help kick off the U.S. Open. The team volunteered by playing tennis and teaching drills to young children and interacting with kids taking part in the annual Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. The Arthur Ashe Kids' Day is the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world. In addition to participating in tennis activities, children have the opportunity to view concerts and partake in other games and activities.

The team also put on a clinic for kids during spring break.

Manned a water stop for the Annapolis 10-miler setting up tables, filling water and Gatorade cups, offered support and encouragement to all the runners and cleaned up the streets of water cups and energy gel packs.

The team also conducted a Run, Jump, ‘n Throw clinic for approximately 300 children at Heritage Elementary School in Chula Vista, CA during spring training in San Diego over their lunch break. The team members provided instruction in running mechanics, hurdling, relay exchanges, long jumping, shot put (light weight shot) and javelin.

The team hosted a free kids' volleyball clinic for boys and girls in grades 5-8. Over 50 kids attended the clinic and many left with a new found love for the game. The team also volunteered at the Special Olympics.

The water polo team hosted the aquatics portion of the Special Olympics in Scott Natatorium. A regular participant in the annual event on the Yard, water polo's new and improved facility allowed the program to once again play host to the swimming competitions.

The wrestling team was critical to the set-up and operation of the Manion Foundation 9/11 run at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. The annual event draws 2000+ runners and the proceeds go to support to local fire, police and other first responding heroes in our community. The team was also heavily involved in the Special Olympics.

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