The University of Redlands football team has always spent considerable time helping the less fortunate. So it is fitting at the holiday time that group is being recognized for its efforts.
The Benevolent Bulldog program earned a Jostens/National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators (NADIIIAA) Community Service Award for the 2008-09 academic year.
Redlands gained one of two ongoing project/activity “Award of Merit” distinctions.
The idea for Benevolent Bulldog program was hatched in 2008 by Communicative Disorders professor and Faculty Athletic Committee Chair, Chris Walker. Walker and a handful of other sponsors annually give $100 to football student-athletes following their non-traditional season in May and charge them with the task of growing the seed money before they arrive back on campus in the fall.
Through this program, Bulldog football players have purchased food for the homeless, organized a bowling tournament that raised $2,800 for St. Jude’s Research Hospital, hired a translator for a Spanish-speaking mother whose daughter was having a brain tumor operation in Phoenix, donated scholarships to students at a school in Sierra Leone and purchased a water buffalo for a village in the Philippines.
The Redlands football team also gained a Jostens/NADIIIAA Community Service Award at the 2007 NCAA Convention under the one-time project/activity category. More than 50 student-athletes and coaches spent up to two weeks mucking out houses in New Orleans, LA, for Hilltop Rescue & Relief in May of 2006.
This program recognizes institutions in three separate community service categories: a one-time project/activity, an array of projects/activities and an ongoing project/activity. In addition to the recognition associated with winning the award, the NADIIIAA and Jostens will make a $1,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund of the institutions.
This year’s Jostens/NADIIIAA Community Service Awards will be presented at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta, GA, on Jan. 16.