Friday, February 10, 2017

FAMU softball team continues to support South Side families through its volunteer work

Head Coach Veronica Wiggins and the FAMU softball team volunteering at Bethel AME
By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

The Florida A&M University softball team is no stranger to community service. For years, the team has had a tradition of volunteering with the local Bethel AME Church, working hard to provide complete Thanksgiving meals for local low-income families on the South Side of Tallahassee.

This is just a portion of their numerous local contributions.  Each season, they designate a game “Breast Cancer Awareness Day,” where they honor those afflicted with the disease.  They also participate in “Trunk or Treat,” a community-oriented festival for youth to visit the campus and enjoy a safe Halloween experience.

The annual Thanksgiving program distributed 400 full meals this year, hitting the community right where it counts.

Sylvia Petties, a 30-year volunteer and the executive assistant to the church’s pastor Rev. Dr. Julius McAllister Jr., emphasized the importance of the softball team’s help.

“We are very appreciative because when they come, they’re on point and they’re willing and ready to work and do whatever we need,” Petties’ said.

Senior center fielder Whitney Farris also recognizes the importance of volunteering for the event, saying that working as a group with her team also builds chemistry amongst them on the field, but “helping others” is by far her favorite part of the yearly food drive.

For Assistant Softball Coach Jessica Harris, community service work has also garnered a lot of support from local softball fans. She credits the support the team gets on the field to how they impact the community off of the field.

“People know that if they need someone, they can always count on the softball team and that is really important because when we look out in the stands, we actually know our supporters,” said Harris.

With the help of the Lady Rattler softball team, the distribution of the fully loaded Thanksgiving baskets gives the community yet another thing to be thankful for.

Milton Overton, FAMU Director of Athletics, feels the community involvement of the team is part of their total development.  “Coach (Veronica) Wiggins, does an amazing job with mentoring well-rounded student-athletes.  Her young ladies do well on the field and off.  The community embraces them because they embrace their community,” he concluded.

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