Former Warrior pitches in for the holiday

Published 8:51 pm Friday, November 26, 2010

From left, Thomas Bird, Chowan women’s basketball player Najah Harris, Elder Jackie Grant and Chowan men’s basketball player Mark Brown delivered more than 500 pounds of food to the Rich Square (N.C.) Creecy Training and Community Center before Thanksgiving.

Chowan’s men’s basketball team had some work to do over the Thanksgiving weekend, with a home game Saturday afternoon in Murfreesboro, N.C.

The Hawks and all the Chowan sports teams assisted their community in a big way earlier in the week when the Chowan University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee delivered more than 500 pounds of canned goods and non-perishable food to the Rich Square Creecy Training and Community Center, a few miles south of the Chowan campus.

CU junior and Nansemond River alum Mark Brown was one of three S.A.A.C. members to make the delivery in person.

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The Chowan University S.A.A.C. is involved in many community service projects throughout the year, but this particular project meant so much because of the timing with the holiday season growing near.

Each Hawk team collected food for the past two weeks. By the time every box and bag was unloaded, the community center’s shelves were nearly full.

“I am anxious to help more, however I can,” said Brown, who’s a first-year S.A.A.C. member. On the hardwood, Brown’s a 6-foot-4 swingman in the CU starting five.

“I don’t want to see an entire generation of children get lost. I want to do what I can to see that doesn’t happen,” Brown said.

The newly-opened Rich Square Creecy Training and Community Center works with citizens, young and old, through various outreach and service programs. The food collected in this drive will feed the elderly and children in the center’s youth programs.

“We feel so blessed to have these young men and women get involved with the center,” said Jackie Grant, the youth minister and director/coordinator of the center.

“Children don’t care what you think until you show them that you care. But when they know you care, they can move mountains. That is why we are here. And that is why we are happy to have the athletes from Chowan involved,” Grant said.

“Our teams collected the goods and we delivered them,” said Thomas Bird, CU’s S.A.A.C. president. “It was very little effort on our part, but to see how much it meant was awesome.”

Chowan’s S.A.A.C. is active year-round in the community. It is comprised of student-athletes from each of Chowan’s 12 athletic teams. The committee meets twice or more per month to discuss issues related to athletics as well as offer solutions and actions for community and campus involvement. They are active on the conference (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and national (NCAA) levels.

“This is why we are in college athletics,” said Dennis Helsel, CU’s Director of Athletics. “Our student-athletes identified a need and met that need. I couldn’t be more proud.”