Spring 2008 Issue


Barry SAAC Brings Early Christmas to Just Kids Centers

Christmas came early to Just Kids Centers on, December 17, thanks to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Barry University. Student-athletes from the Buccaneer women’s basketball, baseball and softball teams visited two Just Kids Centers, delivering toys and bikes to more than 100 children. The student-athletes donated money and shopped for the toys while Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Florida East Coast Chapter donated 15 bikes with safety helmets and anti-theft locks. This is the 12th year ABC and its President and CEO Dan Shaw have participated in “Handlebars for the Holiday,” which distributes bicycles to local underprivileged youth.

“It’s important for the athletes to give back to the community. It shows them there is more to life than winning or losing a game,” said Carole Bennett, director of Barry’s CHAMPS program, which is aimed at preparing student-athletes for life outside of athletics.

SAAC secretary and member of the softball team Ali Perantoni said the experience was very rewarding.

“It was amazing to see the faces of the kids light up when we came in,” she said. “They were shy at first, but after a minute they blossomed and let us know how grateful they were for all we had done. If I could do this (helping underprivileged kids) every day, I would.”

Women’s basketball player Christina Thompson said she enjoyed the experience as much as the children at the centers.

“I didn’t think I would have as much fun as I did,” Thompson said. “We spent time interacting with the kids and everyone had a great time, but when we got down to passing out the presents, that’s when you really saw the joy in their faces.”

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