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 her community in superior service efforts. The 2011 SEC Softball Community Service Team follows:
Courtney Conley, Sophomore, Alabama
Alabama sophomore Courtney Conley has made an immediate impact in the community from the moment she stepped on campus over a year ago. The Robertsville, Mo., native has been active in not just the local Tuscaloosa community but in her surrounding St. Louis area as well. Most recently the sophomore organized an entire semi-truck trailer to be filled at her Eureka High School and driven down to Tuscaloosa full of supplies to aid in the disaster relief from the horrific Tornado that hit the area. On top of her recent activities, Conley has also volunteered countless hours at what used to be the Tuscaloosa Salvation Army. She has also volunteered at the University of Alabama Rise School, which is a program designed to serve young children with physical disabilities from birth to five years of age. Conley has also participated in the Halloween Extravaganza on campus and has talked to St. Louis youth teams and elementary schools about the importance of being active, teamwork and being drug free.
Amanda Caldwell, Senior, Arkansas
Caldwell currently serves as the president of the Arkansas Chapter of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been a member for three years. Caldwell has been extremely involved with community service and other outreaches on campus, including the Lift Up America event for the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank where Arkansas set a record for the best participation by a single university. The senior received a year-long internship with Colgate-Palmolive in NWA where she worked with the category management team analyzing consumer data and sales. She spent 10 days in Honduras in 2008 doing mission work and will spend time as a missionary in Guatemala in the summer of 2011. Caldwell has organized community service projects for the Razorbacks softball team such as Book Hogs, where student-athletes read and interact with elementary school students in the community. Caldwell is the vice president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was selected as a Big Sister with Northwest Arkansas’ Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Morgan Murphy, Junior, Auburn
Murphy volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Auburn and she visited kids at Dean Road Elementary School. Also participated in AU Student-Athlete Day, community service based program and collected goods and helped market SEC Together We Can Food Drive, BeatBama Food Drive and Toys for Tots. Other activities include serving as the 2010-2011 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Vice President and is a member of FCA. She is the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President-Elect 2011-2012. Murphy was also a 2010 SEC Community Service Team Member.
Megan Bush, Senior, Florida
Florida senior first baseman Megan Bush has over 90 hours of community service in her career as a Gator. She has participated in a number of different activities, ranging from tutoring local elementary school children to spreading holiday cheer with delivering free tennis shoes to needy children during the holidays and much more through UF's Goodwill Gators. Along with her individual hours, Bush and the Gators have taken on several community service initiatives as a team, including the Swinging for Cancer event that is three-years strong and involvement with the Friends of Jaclyn organization, where the softball squad adopted Heather Braswell, a brain tumor patient. Bush and the Gators have been rewarded with UF's Life Skills Cup for two consecutive years. Bush was an original candidate for the 2011 Lowes Senior CLASS Award and is also one of USA Softballs Top 25 finalists for Player of the Year. Also an All-SEC and SEC Academic Honor Roll selection all of her years donning the Orange and Blue.
Alisa Goler, Senior, Georgia
Goler has been heavily involved in the community in her four seasons at Georgia. During the 2011 season, she has worked with the Boys & Girls Club, the Athens-Clarke County Humane Society and is working on coordinating a can recycling drive with a local homeless shelter. The Coca-Cola Community All-American's work in the community during her time at Georgia includes several areas of outreach. She created and implemented recreation programs for children ages 1-14 with Oasis Catolico. Goler also helped put on a Charity Golf Tournament at the UGA Golf Course with all proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club of Athens, and the event raised $2,500. Additionally, Goler has annually participated in SOAR (Special Olympics Annual Run) with her teammates. She is a volunteer with the Athens Clarke County Humane Society, Special Olympics and the SEC Canned Food Drive every year. In the summer of 2010, Goler completed an internship with Diamond Sports Academy in Mokena, Ill., that gave her the opportunity to give lessons, work camps and network with well-established college coaches.
Meagan Aull, Senior, Kentucky
Aull’s community service efforts include Big Blue U, God’s Pantry Food Drive, Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure, Salvation, American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Special Olympics, Circle of Love, SEC Together We Can Food Drive, Jesus Prom, Southland Church, Habitat for Humanity. Aull also is a two-time All-SEC Academic team performer, was named SEC Player of the Week in 2011, started all 215+ games of her career.
Ashley Applegate, Senior, LSU
Applegate has been the LSU softball’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for the last three school years. Her community service work includes: Thanksgiving with the Tigers – Ashley and her teammates adopted an underprivileged child for the holidays and provided gifts to the child at a program, while serving the family a Thanksgiving style meal and playing games. She has made multiple visits to Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital where she went room-to-room visiting with patients and cheering them up. Applegate spearheaded softball’s station at the Halloween BOOzar where she organized an activity, passed out candy and signed autographs for local kids to enjoy a safe night of trick-or-treating and participated in the SEC Together We CAN Drive. She collected canned goods at LSU volleyball games to support the local Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Applegate volunteered at a Geaux Givers Project. Her and other student-athletes played host to children on a mock recruiting trip. The athletes gave tours of LSU’s campus and athletic facilities and served at Big Buddy's Day of a Mentor. Applegate made a year-long commitment to participate in the Everybody Reads Program where she was paired up with an underachieving elementary student for the school year and met with the child at least twice a month to work on reading and self esteem skills at Buchanan Elementary. She also visited St. Vincent de Paul and helped serve food to the homeless as well as sorting clothes in the thrift store for the needy.
Amanda Hutcheson, Junior, Ole Miss
Hutcheson participated in Kids Take Over The Park Day in support of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital …Collected donations for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital … Adopted St. Jude patient Hailey Hines along with teammates as an official member of the Ole Miss Softball team … Participated in Reading with the Rebels and National Student-Athlete Day … Collected shoes for youth in Haiti and Kenya as part of Rebel Re-Runs and helped with the SEC Can Food Drive … Hosted a softball clinic for patients at North Mississippi Regional Health Center … Participated in More Than A Meal program where she served dinner and mentored local at-risk children … Volunteered at a local retirement community … Helped care for animals at the local Humane Society.
Courtney Nesbit, Senior, Mississippi State
Nesbit was a participant in Mississippi State’s annual Halloween Carnival for children… A regular reader to students as part of Bully’s Book Blitz… Participated in the city of Starkville’s annual Festival of Trees that helped raise money for the United Way… Has assisted in distributing food to the needy as part of the Bulldogs’ annual canned food drives… Coached a third-grade girls basketball team… Has also taught Vacation Bible School. Nesbit will earn her degree in Special Education in December, 2011… A Presidential Scholar and a Dean’s Scholar… Member of Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society… Two-time NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete… Has earned SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades all three years of her career… A three-year letterwinner and starter in 156 games during her career… Tied for ninth in MSU career annals with 13 home runs… Leads Mississippi State in 2011 in home runs (8) and RBI (40)… MSU’s female nominee for the SEC’s Davis Community Service Award… Serves as the softball representative for the Mississippi State M-Club, the school’s student-athlete service organization.
Sam Arbaugh, Junior, South Carolina
Assisted with the SEC Together We CAN food drive effort this fall and worked the Kids Rock Disabiity Walk. She also was among the softball Gamecocks that shopped for Christmas presents as part of the Families Helping Families promotion, an annual event with WIS-TV. Sam helped deliver the presents to the family just before Christmas and spent time with them. She worked the team’s clinic on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for local softball players. Sam led a group to New Providence Elementary School for the Books and BBQ event, where she was among the student-athletes that read books to the parents and children in attendance. Also, she spearheaded a new effort to collect bottle caps and distribute them to local people in need of dialysis, where they could trade the caps for a free treatment.
Ivy Renfroe, Sophomore, Tennessee
Renfroe spent time reading to children at local elementary schools in the Knoxville area...spoke to local church youth groups...helped wrap and distribute gifts for underprivledged children with Toys for Tots...walked in the local parade honoring the memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King...participated in raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Association. She also has worked numerous youth softball camps in the local Knoxville area