Alma, Mich. - The Alma College women's lacrosse team has earned the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III Community Awareness Team Award for the time and effort it committed to community service during the 2019-20 academic year. This is the third consecutive year the program has earned the honor.
"I am proud of our team for their dedication to serving our community each year," said Head Coach Ashley Johnson. "Our team is filled with servant-hearted individuals that are dedicated to helping others and encouraging those around them to get involved. Serving generously is part of the Alma College mission statement and I love that our team embodies this mission through their work in our local community."
"Alma College athletics takes pride in the service that we provide to the community," said Director of Athletics Sarah Dehing. "The women's lacrosse team has made this a part of their team culture and leads our department in philanthropic work year after year. To win this award for the third year in a row is a reflection of their dedication to serving others and one that we are proud to have represent Alma College."
The women's lacrosse team has spent over 1,100 hours serving the community this past year. The team's 20 student-athletes gave their time to sponsor a campaign to encourage the campus community to write letters to the troops before Thanksgiving, organize an event to raise mental health awareness on campus and help organize a community carnival for local children and a city-wide trash pick-up event. The team also volunteered at the local animal shelter, the Alma Women's Resource Center, Alma Middle School's Kids Night Out, and the Child Advocacy Center.
The team and its dedication to service is led by senior captains Allie Ray (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. / Comsewogue) and Olivia Benoit (Grosse Pointe, Mich. / Grosse Pointe North) as well as junior captains Alyssa Gall (Richmond, Mich. / Richmond) and Courtney Hartnagle (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek). Three players spent at least 100 hours performing community service this year: Gall, freshman Ava Frederickson (Alto, Mich. / Lowell) and senior MacKenzie Chevalier (Fraser, Mich. / International Academy of Macomb).
The IWLCA defines the purpose of the Team Community Awareness Award as recognizing one team that has contributed significantly to their community during the previous academic year. Academics are not part of the award, and at least 50 percent of the team's roster must have participated in community service activities to be eligible for the award.
The University of Michigan, Post University (CT) and St. Ambrose University (IA) were also given the distinction in their respective divisions.