Birmingham, Ala -- The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 20 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The seventh annual women’s volleyball Community Service Team follows:
Leigh Moyer, Sophomore, Middle Blocker, Alabama
Service projects include: Project Angel Tree, Alabama Athletics Halloween Extravaganza, Club Crimson Volunteer Coach, Kiwanis pancake breakfast volunteer, animal shelter volunteer and is currently working on a video showing the dangers of texting while driving that will be presented at area middle schools.
Kelli Stipanovich, Junior, Outside Hitter, Arkansas
Stipanovich was one of more than 75 Univ. of Arkansas student-athletes to volunteer during the Razorback Relief: Operation Haiti service project. During the 24-hour event, Arkansas coaches, staff and student-athletes teamed with members of the NW Arkansas community and Numana, Inc. to pack a record of more than 1.4 million meals in an effort to help feed the starving population of Haiti still suffering after an earthquake in January of 2010.
Stipanovichhas also been active in other Arkansas community projects such as Books Hogs, Sweat Hawgs and service trips to Honduras. She continues to assist the Razorback volleyball team in its efforts to speak with and provide clinics to area club and youth organizations. Stipanovich has also participated in several post-match youth clinics.
Lauren Mellor, Senior, Middle Blocker, Auburn
Mellor has been an important part of the Auburn volleyball team on and off the court. She has been a part of numerous community service projects with the team to promote both Auburn and the volleyball program. She has signed autographs at the City of Auburn’s Downtown Trick or Treat festival and at CityFest a number of times.
During her four years, she has visited five of community’s elementary schools to read for classrooms and have a meet and greet with the students. Another place she frequents is the Oak Park Retirement Home where she plays bingo with the residents. Lauren has volunteered her time at the Auburn Early Education Center’s Family Fun Night, while also donating canned food for the Beat Bama Food Drive and toys for the SAAC Toys for Tots Drive. She is also a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Betsy Smith, R-Sophomore, Middle Blocker, Florida
Has volunteered countless hours at Shands Medical Plaza and with the Baby Gators program, has participated in the Gator Tracks Program and the annual Climb for Cancer, Has volunteered at area schools Stephen Foster Elementary, Membane Middle School and Buchholz High School and serves UF’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as its treasurer. Has volunteered more than 70 hours during her time with the Florida volleyball program.
Kathleen Gates, Junior, Setter, Georgia
A 2009 SEC Volleyball Community Service Team selection, Gates has continued to make a positive impact locally in the Athens, Ga., community and abroad in 2010.
Through AutismUGA, where she serves as Director of Autism Awareness on the Board of Directors, Gates organized a community resource fair in addition to spelling bee and dart tournament fundraisers. In addition to organizing events on and off of campus, Gates’ role with AutismUGA also involves handling the public relations of the organization. Through her position with AutismUGA, Gates makes contacts with various organizations for support, updates Facebook, Twitter and a blog and meets weekly with the Board of Directors to plan events. One such event Gates is participating in again during 2010, is REAL Saturdays, where once a month a local elementary school holds a program for autistic students to help with social communication.
Another outreach program Gates took part in this year was Girl Power Day. In conjunction with the Georgia women’s basketball game against Florida, Gates led activities and spoke to 200 hundred Girl Scouts and their parents at the program on the topic of “Being a Leader and a Friend.” During the spring of 2010, more specifically during her spring break, Gates traveled on a mission trip to Panama to teach vacation bible school and repair some churches. This marked the second-straight spring break that Gates has joined with Christus Victor Lutheran Church, where she is an active member, to go on a mission trip.
In 2009, Gates traveled to New Orleans with members of her church to help victims of Katrina to rebuild homes. Additionally through her church, Gates has helped with food collection for the homeless and participated in Relay For Life in both 2009 and 2010. Furthermore, Gates is a member of the Fontaine Student Center Advisory Board (FSCAB). The FSCAB’s purpose is to increase alcohol awareness and safety on the UGA campus and through the UGA Health Center. Additionally, Gates’ community service involvement has also included time as a volunteer for Dawg for Haiti and at the Athens-Clarke County Animal Shelter. In 2009, she also volunteered at a local elementary school and visited Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital with UGA Miracle.
Ann Armes, Junior, Outside Hitter, Kentucky
Armes is the most dedicated student-athlete at Kentucky in the area of community service with over 230 hours worked … In the summer of 2009 she spent weeks working with the Los Angeles Urban Project and the Urban Sports Camps … During one of her spring breaks, she worked as a tutor at the Manchester Center and during another she spent a week on a mission trip in Nicaragua … Additionally, she spearheaded a project at UK collecting shoes for Haiti following the hurricane last spring … A mainstay at the Cats Cultivating Character she has spent more than 20 hours working with the children … She also spent time working with the Salvation Army and at the UK Children’s Hospital … Ann has also spent time working with the local Boy Scouts, with the local YMCA, God’s Pantry and several of the local schools in Lexington.
Madie Jones, Sophomore, Outside Hitter, LSU
Jones’ service involvment includes: Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Reading Friends where she adopts an underachieving elementary student for the entire year to meet with twice a month and work on building reading and self esteem skills; First Book – Volunteered at speed reading contest to help organization provide needy families and children with books so they can have the opportunity to learn to read; LSU Greening Day – Helped plant trees and other greenery around LSU’s campus; MDA Telethon – Jones and her teammates volunteered answering phones to raise money for the local Muscular Dystrophy Association; Halloween BOOzar – Headed up a volleyball game station with local kids, passed out candy and signed autographs to provide a safe night of Halloween fun for local children; Heritage House – Visited and interacted with nursing home patients at a local nursing home; St. Vincent De Paul – She helped sort clothes at a thrift store that helps benefit the underprivileged; Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital – Jones visited patients at the local hospital going room-to-room to cheer them up and handed out team posters; Thanksgiving with the Tigers – Jones and her teammates have adopted a child from a homeless shelter to provide holiday gifts for. They will play games with 20 kids from a homeless shelter and will serve a Thanksgiving meal to needy families.
Emily Kvitle, Senior, Setter, Ole Miss
Kvitle is active in the Ole Miss and Oxford communities as a regular participant in several community service activities. Kvitle participates regularly in the Reading With The Rebels program, visiting local elementary schools to read to school children. She also is an active participate in the annual SEC “Together We Can” Food Drive to help collect food for local food banks.
The senior is also active in the Rebel Re-Run program to collect athletic shoes to send to youngsters in Africa. She also serves as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on campus at Ole Miss. Earlier this season, Kvitle and her team visited a local homeless shelter in Houston, Texas, when the team was in town for a tournament at Rice University. There, Kvitle washed dishes, visited with clients of the shelter, prepared meals and worked to help the shelter with its daily duties.
Ashley Newsome, Senior, Middle Blocker, Mississippi State
Key participant and served as MC for the M-Club’s annual Bully’s Book Blitz program, encouraging reading and motivating elementary school students at Starkville’s Henderson/Ward Stewart Elementary School … Active participant in the M-Club’s Thanksgiving canned food drive, collecting, sorting and distributing canned foods for needy families in the community … Worked as a volunteer in Mississippi State’s “move-in day” program, MVNU2MSU, helping move first-year MSU students into their on-campus housing.
Christina Glover, Sophomore, Outside Hitter, South Carolina
Glover worked a free clinic for Girls Scouts and others after a match during the fall season and volunteered for a session of the Summer Sports Camps program, organized by the City of Columbia Parks, the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Athletics Department. Glover has also visited Gadsen Elementary School, speaking to a group of second-graders during her visit. Glover was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 09-10.
Amanda Friday, Junior, Defensive Specialist/Libero, Tennessee
Friday has worked with Habitat for Humanity, participated in annual Holiday Dinner for the Homeless, where she hosted guest from a local shelter on campus for a meal and gifts and helped with Teams for Toys where they purchase, wrap and give Christmas gifts to underprivileged local children. She has also assisted at Knox Kicks Soccer Clinic, helped lead a free volleyball clinic for youth club team, and participated in the UT Donor Thank-a-Thon, calling donors to offer thanks for their contributions to their scholarship.