Auburn Swimming & Diving Adopts Families For the Holidays



Jan. 4, 2010

Auburn, Ala. - The Auburn Swimming and Diving Team adopted three local Lee County families for the Christmas holidays.

The 10 children in the families received clothing, outerwear and toys from the student-athletes. The Auburn coaching staff and their families provided each family with gift certificates for Christmas dinner from Honey Baked Ham and desserts from Bruster's Ice Cream. The three families were selected by the Salvation Army of Auburn.

Tigers' Debra Hazeldine, along with Trudi Hawke, coordinated the project for Auburn Swimming and Diving.

"Our athletes really wanted to give back to Auburn/Opelika, especially during the holiday season," Hazeldine said. "We are so thankful to have been a part of providing Christmas to those less fortunate residing in our community. It is what the holidays and family is all about and it's the Auburn Way.

"I had the opportunity to distribute our gifts directly to some of the families. One of the parents who came to pick up their gifts sobbed when I assisted her in carrying gifts to her car. She told me it had been a difficult year for her and she has been struggling as a single parent. She hugged me and cried as she thanked everyone from Auburn Swimming and Diving. The parent said that her child would not have had any Christmas gifts if it wasn't for the generosity of Auburn Swimming and Diving."

Fifty-nine student-athletes, along with head coach Brett Hawke and wife Trudi, coach Richard Long and wife, Erin, coach Aaron Ciarla, coach Paul Yetter and Amy Maargulies, coach Jeff Shaffer and wife, Jenny, coach Carrie McCambridge, volunteer coach Mark Gangloff and wife, Ashley, along with staff members Tom Healey, Bryan Lundquist, and Debra Hazeldine and husband, James, participated in the project. Mrs. Margaret Crocker, the spouse of the late Coach Ralph Crocker, also participated in the Christmas project.

For additional information on the programs and services provided or to donate to the Salvation Army, visit their web site at