Bobcats log over 2,000 hours of community service

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Last year, an all-time record of more than 3,800 hours of community service was set by the Peru State athletic department. If the fall service record is any indication, the Bobcats will top that mark during the 2019-20 year.

As members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Peru State is a strong believer in the NAIA's Champions of Character (COC) program. One of the tenets of the COC is servant leadership which has as part of its definition of developing a sense of community and to serve the common good.

As of the start of the 2020 calendar year, the Bobcat student-athletes and staff have documented over 2,051 hours. It is believed more hours have been completed, but this total has been committed to paper.

Athletic director and head baseball coach Wayne Albury was pleased to learn of the fall numbers. Albury stated, "To think about topping the record number of community service hours from last year was almost unfathomable as the department completed almost 1,000 more than its previous best." Continuing, Albury added, "I am very proud of all of our programs and their respective staff members for providing a balance of athletic work, academic work, and service for the common good."

The football team leads the way in terms of total hours with 602.5 while the baseball team has averaged approximately ten hours per person with 572 total hours noted.

Additional hours completed include: women's basketball – 182.5, volleyball – 176.5, softball – 170, PASA/Staff/Trainers – 139.5, men's basketball – 94, cross country – 85.5, cheer – 16, and golf – 13.

The largest amount of hours attributed to the football team come from their annual work of helping move in new students to the residence halls in August.

The baseball team has helped with the unloading of supplies for the Auburn Back Pack program. The team earned its most hours by working at the Nebraska City Rodeo which helped raise funds for its youth sports programs.

Doing the biggest variety of different activities were members of the women's basketball team. They had an active part in homecoming and later assisted with the Peru Trunk or Treat. Following one of their Sunday afternoon practices, the team assisted College staff members put up flags for the Veteran's Day program.

For several years, the volleyball team has provided different events for Good Sam and Long's Creek residents in Auburn. This year, they did manicures at Good Sam and took Long's Creek residents bowling.

Almost all members of the Bobcat softball team participated in the Peru Trunk-or-Treat and later assisted the College's campus services department to decorate the campus for the winter holidays.

Every team was represented at the College's annual Glow Walk which focuses on mental health awareness. It is held each October.

Staff members also do their fair share of servant leadership outside of their own team's activities. The service ranges from helping build/rehab homes in Omaha for the Habitat for Humanity to coaching youth volleyball or serving as a member of Peru's fire department and EMS squad. Others provide service through their churches or through serving on a volunteer basis on local, state, and/or national boards.

Peru Association of Student Athletes president Ally Hazen (North Platte) was also happy with the fall numbers. Hazen commented, "This documentation truly does show that our athletic programs are true participants in the Champions of Character program. Not only do we do our part of servant leadership, we do so through the core value of responsibility which is embracing the opportunities to contribute."