FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Nova Southeastern Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) got into the holiday spirit by leading a Toy Drive and donated the gifts to the Rick and Rita Case Boys and Girls Club. The Sharks Athletic Department collected 250 gifts and the Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs made the trip and spread holiday cheer with local youth.
Dr. Deanna Rivero, Ed. D., leads the SAAC program for NSU and brought Suzan Kinran, Emma Krause, Zeyno Seren and Mia Jones from Sharks Women’s Basketball and RJ Sunahara, Shane Hunter, Tommy Sala and Alex Mangold to the Rick and Rita Case Boys and Girls Club for the donations.
“The holidays are the season of giving and our student-athletes, coaches, and staff donated a vast amount of toys,” said Dr. Rivero. “Being able to hand deliver the donations to the Rick and Rita Case Boys and Girls Club warmed my heart. Seeing the smiles of the kids as they picked their toys made me beyond grateful for the support of our Shark family for making this happen.”
Rivero continued, “watching our student-athletes interact with the kids and helping them pick out their toys warmed my heart. I enjoy our partnership with the Rick and Rita Case Boys and Club, and I am already looking forward to next year.”
RJ Sunahara, a redshirt junior on the No. 3 Nova Southeastern Men’s Basketball team, enjoyed his experience at the Boys and Girls Club saying, “Today was a great day! We had the chance to give back to the [Rick and Rita Case] Boys and Girls and impact our community. It is a blessing to be able to put a smile on someone’s face and to spread holiday cheer. Go Sharks!”
Emma Krause and Mia Jones, two SAAC representatives from the NSU Women’s Basketball team, participated in the toy donations and said, “It was a heart-warming experience seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces as we helped them pick out toys. It is an amazing opportunity to be involved in our local community and I hope in the future we will be able to impact the Boys and Girls Club more and have them come to some Sharks games!”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Nova Southeastern Athletics, led by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), participated in the NSU’s Global Day of Service event, donating food as part of a food drive for the HOPE Outreach Center in Davie.
SAAC President and NSU Softball outfielder, Sydney Lageyre helped organize the donations and said, “Leading the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in participating in this year’s Global Day of Service was so special because we finally got to come together to do something meaningful for our community.”
Lageyre added, “When our organization decided to participate in a food drive, it was easy for us to connect with the HOPE Outreach Center to get a list of donations they needed; it’s an honor to partner with HOPE and serve hundreds of local families in our community. As the President of SAAC and a graduate student, I hope that our SAAC family continues to serve the community that has given us so much already.”
Joanne Robinson, a representative of the HOPE Outreach Center, said, “the NSU collection of over 350 lbs of nutritious pantry provisions, and the volunteering student-athletes, made a difference. The faces of so many of the distraught, when they arrive at the HOPE Outreach Center, are relieved when they have food to provide for their families. We are extremely grateful of our friends at NSU to organize, collect and deliver pantry items to HOPE.”
2022 marked the second year SAAC participated in NSU’s Global Day of Service.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Nova Southeastern Athletics, in partnership with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), proudly continued its tradition of serving the community by hosting a school supply drive for Davie Elementary. During the 2021-22 Welcome Back event for the NSU Student-Athletes, all 16 teams gathered school supplies to be given to Mrs. Whitton’s first grade class. SAAC also spent some time interacting with the students.
NSU student-athletes and SAAC representatives shared their thoughts on the experience
Nick Smith – Men’s Basketball
“I had a great time at Davie Elementary today. It was nice to interact with the first-grade students in Mrs. Whitton’s class and to see the excitement on their faces as we met them and answered some of their questions.”
Maeve Hunt – Women’s Swimming
“Going to see the Davie Elementary School kids was such a cool experience. The kids were so excited to have us there and loved getting to know us as student-athletes. Seeing firsthand the help the donations would give was also such an incredible feeling.”
Michael Bittner McPherson – Men’s Soccer
“Having the opportunity to be a part of the supply drop off at Davie Elementary is one that I’ll never forget. Seeing the excitement of the kids and the joy we brought to their faces is something that was special and will stay with me for a long time.”