Community service has become a hallmark of Saint Mary’s University (SMU) athletics, garnering national recognition in recent years. Amy Kujak, a member of the Women’s Volleyball team and the Cardinal Athletic Council, represents all of the Saint Mary’s University Student-Athletes for the purpose of this award.
In 2007, the Cardinal Athletic Council (CAC) organized efforts to assist the flood ravaged communities around Winona. The CAC coordinated efforts of 200 student-athletes and 100 other students to assist flood victims with clean-up. These efforts led to the nation’s top community service award for NCAA Division III athletic departments – The Josten’s Community Service Award. In 2008-09, student-athletes culminated a year of volunteering with a spring event – the CAC Play for Shay Day, inviting children from local communities to the SMU campus for an afternoon of sporting activities, and hosting a silent auction. All proceeds were donated to a family with a child battling cancer.
Student-athletes again received the Josten’s Community Service Award – Honorable Mention, for a variety of activities during 2009-10, including raising money for cancer research, volunteering with elementary children, and collecting and donating food and Christmas gifts. Approximately 300 student-athletes volunteered over 2000 hours, raising $5000 for charitable and community service causes. Efforts in 2010-11 have included several events related to cancer awareness, painting classrooms at area schools, and food drives.