SEC Together We CAN Drive Raises More Than 500,000 Pounds in Five Years
Oct. 11, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's annual league-wide community service project, the Together We CAN Drive, concluded on October 2. This year's effort raised more than 121,400 pounds of food through the efforts of student-athletes and administrators from all 12 SEC institutions.
Through the five years of the Together We CAN Drive, student-athletes and administrators have raised more than 599,343 pounds of food for food banks and local charities across the Southeastern Conference's region.
The SEC SAAC has encouraged fans and supporters to donate at sporting events, on campus and in the community, during the drive, Sept. 16 - Oct. 2.
"Again our student-athletes have chosen not only to be active, but to push others into activity as well." said SEC Together We CAN Drive Administrator Torie Johnson. "Because of their work, families in our own backyards will have a hot meal tonight and in the months ahead. But, the students didn't do this alone. Those families, and all of us, owe a debt of gratitude to every person who donated."
The Together We CAN Drive is one of several community initiatives the SEC supports. The Conference has a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics and a partnership with the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Ala., to promote its "OPERATION LIMA FOXTROT" program, which assists severely injured members of the United States Armed Forces.
"Through the Together We CAN Drive, student-athletes of the Southeastern Conference make valuable contributions to their communities," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "The Together We CAN Drive is part of our overall outreach program, and is particularly meaningful because it's a student-led effort. This is something our student-athletes asked to do, and we support them completely."
Food banks and charities receiving donations from the 2011 SEC Together We CAN Drive include: West Alabama Food Bank; Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, Food Bank of East Alabama; Salvation Army; Food Bank of Northeast Georgia; God's Pantry of Lexington; Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank; Oxford Food Pantry; Mississippi State University M-Club Alumni Association; Harvest Hope Food Bank; Second Harvest Food Bank; and the Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee.
The SEC SAAC is comprised of two student-athletes from each institution. It was established in 1992 to serve as a medium of communication through which student-athletes; conference administrators, institutional representatives and coaches discuss and take action on issues relating to rules governance, student-athlete welfare and community service.
Members of the SEC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for 2011-12 are: Courtney McLane (Alabama, tennis); Kyle Weeks (Alabama, swimming & diving); Jasmine Norton (Arkansas, volleyball); Courtney O'Grady (Arkansas, swimming & diving); Morgan Murphy (Auburn, softball); Maya Pressley (Auburn, track & field); Betsy Smith (Florida, volleyball); Brian Howell (Florida, swimming & diving); Chelsea Nauta (Georgia, swimming & diving); J.P. Hackney (Georgia, track & field); Ann Armes (Kentucky, volleyball); Ashleigh Gustafson (Kentucky, softball); Madie Jones (LSU, volleyball); Brandon Gordon (LSU, track & field); Amanda Hutcheson (Ole Miss, softball); Morgan Springer (Ole Miss, volleyball); Renee Masterson (Mississippi State, track & field); Nick Lewis (Mississippi State, track & field); Samantha Arbaugh (South Carolina, softball); Courtney Newton (South Carolina, basketball); Natalie Plustkota (Tennessee, tennis); Derek Paul (Tennessee, swimming & diving) and Caleb Welchans (Vanderbilt, football).