GREENVILLE, Ill. — Giving back to the local community has long been a tenant of the Greenville University Athletic Department. In addition to supplying the region with the opportunity to enjoy high-caliber athletic competition with the majority of its events free of admission charges, Greenville University, its student-athletes, and coaches have long been active in organized community outreach opportunities through area entities such as the Simple Room and other service-based efforts.
Several years ago, the Greenville women's volleyball team coached by Tom Ackerman, along with hist wife, Carrie, a social work professor at Greenville University, wanted to identify an area that would combine athletics and the Bond County community. After much thought they agreed on an event known as "Kicks for Kids" that would raise money through donations to supply area children with new pairs of shoes that would coincide with the beginning of each school year.
This year, the women's team was joined by the men's volleyball, women's soccer, and men's soccer teams in producing a four-way joint effort on Sunday, August 26. Ackerman, who doubles as Athletic Director at Greenville University, reported that the Athletic Department collected over $3,000 which enabled it to buy 90 pairs of shoes for children in Bond County as they went back to school.
The families of the area children applied for the program, and the children were able to come to the Crum Recreation Center on Greenville University's campus where they picked up their new shoes and played games with members of all four teams.
"The women's volleyball team always looks forward to the 'Kicks for Kids' event as one of its favorite days of the year," said Ackerman, a. "It is great to share the experience with three other teams and purchase a record number of shoes."
All four programs look forward to the support of the community as they soon begin their seasons. The soccer programs play at home on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, and the women's volleyball team will play at home for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 8.