PacWest Conference selects FPU as Community Engagement Award winner

By wayne.steffen on June 4, 2018 @ 1:11pm

Fresno Pacific University took home the Pacific West Conference Community Engagement Award this week, according to an announcement by the conference May 31, 2018. The award is given annually to the member institution that best served its community during the academic year.

“One of the many ways our department lives out its Christian mission is through a deep commitment to serving and engaging the surrounding community,” Associate Athletics Director Jeremiah Wood said. “This year, our coaches and student-athletes did an exceptional job of being a blessing to our community and showing the entire Valley what Fresno Pacific University is all about.” 

FPU student-athletes and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members volunteered a grand total of 3,090 combined hours of community service during the 2017-18 season, partnering with more than 30 local organizations and surpassing $5,600 in donations. Men’s basketball led all Sunbird athletics programs with 432 hours, nearly 31 hours per athlete.

FPU student-athletes partnered with more than 30 different organizations to serve the greater Fresno area. In the spring, FPU hosted its annual Sunbird Sports Day, travelling to various locations in the local community for a fun-filled day of games and activities.

Fresno Pacific has now won the PacWest Community Engagement award three times and has claimed at least one service-related award from the league in each of the last five years.

Each individual team participated in multiple community service activities:

Baseball

  • assisted at a carnival hosted by Valley Oak Elementary School

Men's Basketball

  • read and mentored to students at Greenberg Elementary School

  • played and interacted with students from Lane Elementary School

  • volunteered at local elementary schools through Every Neighborhood Partnership

  • volunteered at various events with the Special Olympics

  • volunteered at a deaf and hard-of-hearing play at Norseman Elementary School

  • volunteered at the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Sale, an event that brings more than 5,000 people onto campus each year to raise money for overseas relief

  • Sunbird Sports Day at Lane Elementary

Women's Basketball

  • assisted with a fundraiser dinner at CASA of Fresno and Madera Counties

  • built a home with Habitat for Humanity

  • Saturday Sports at Greenberg

  • sold newspapers for Kids Day, benefitting Valley Children’s Healthcare

  • Sunbird Sports Day at Lane Elementary

  • cleanup at the MCC Sale    

Men's and Women's Cross Country/Track & Field

  • distributed food at Butler Church in Southeast Fresno

  • food packaging for charitable distribution at Gleanings for the Hungry

  • assisted at a carnival hosted by Valley Oak Elementary School

  • Santa Workshop at Fancher Creek Elementary School

  • sold newspapers for Kids Day, benefitting Valley Children’s Healthcare

  • sold books at the MCC Sale

Men's Soccer

  • soccer clinic at Sanger Community Church

  • sold newspapers for Kids Day, benefitting Valley Children’s Healthcare

  • played and interacted with students from Lane Elementary

  • Sunbird Sports Day at Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School

  • cleanup at MCC Sale

Women's Soccer

  • barbecue for the homeless through Fresno Rescue Mission

  • passed out supplies and served families through Fresno Rescue Mission

Men's & Women's Swimming

  • volunteered at Community Food Bank

  • read to students at Indianola Elementary School

  • Sunbird Sports Day at Olmos Elementary School

  • volunteered with Miracle League Visalia

  • volunteered with Special Olympics at Hoover High School

  • sold newspapers for Kids Day, benefitting Valley Children’s Healthcare

Women's Volleyball

  • stocked food boxes at Poverello House, an organization that serves the hungry and homeless

  • cleaned facilities and trained adoptable dogs at a shelter for Fresno Bully Rescue

  • read to students at Indianola Elementary

  • volunteered at Valley Children’s Healthcare

  • Sunbird Sports Day at Powers-Ginsburg Elementary

Men's & Women's Water Polo

  • served meals and sorted food at Poverello House

  • constructed a new playground at a city park

  • volunteered at Community Food Bank

  • sold newspapers for Kids Day, benefitting Valley Children’s Healthcare

  • Sunbird Sports Day at Addams Elementary School

  • Run for Relief at MCC Sale

There were also a number of projects that were a collaborative effort between teams, including:

Make-A-Wish Foundation
After winning the PacWest Make-A-Wish Award in each of the last two years, Fresno Pacific continued to contribute to the NCAA Division II's fundraising efforts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year, through various campaigns, FPU’s SAAC surpassed the $2,600 mark for Make-A-Wish.
 
Additional work by SAAC

  • sent representatives as guest speakers to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meetings at local high schools

  • sent student-athletes as guest speakers at local elementary schools to talk about the importance of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle

  • worked in partnership with the United Way of Fresno County and the U.S. Marine Corps to collect and give out nearly 100,000 toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation

#TeamFPU