IWLCA Names Community Awareness Award Winners for 2012

The IWLCA has named three student-athletes as recipients of the Community Awarness Award for the 2011-2012 year, with one honoree coming from each division. Widener's Anna Geeter, Southern Connecticut's Erica Martino, and St. Francis' Catherine Helming were each recognized for their contributions to the community throughout the year.

Geeter, a senior from Jackson, N.J., is the co-founder of Northern Star Sports. The mission of NSS is to influence young children to create dreams and achieve those dreams with their natural talents. Specifically, NSS shows them how to use sports as a tool to channel negative behavior into something productive. They endeavor to create a program that is sustainable, attractive, and feasible for a child by going through drills from various sports with hidden lessons (or obstacles) on a daily basis, after which the children will reflect upon and work through. After each session the children will be able to have free play. This program has been so well run that is has been taken to a low-income area in Chester. Geeter has dedicated almost 400 hours of prep work, execution, training, recruitment to NSS. She has also coordinated a 5k and a field day event for the public and NSS participants to help raise funds and awareness for the organization.

In addition, Geeter has been a participating member of the Big Brother/Big Sister organization for four years and has worked with the same sibling for each of those four years. She has been recognized for consistently going above and beyond the required program hours/duties. Geeter was recognized by Widener this year as the recipient of the Outstanding PSC/Bonner Award for the university, recognizing outstanding work in the Presidential Service Corps. Geeter also manages to find time to serve as a member of the Ambassador Program for Freshman Mentoring in the School of Business Administration.

Geeter helped organize Widener with various activities as well, including Cradles to Crayons, during which time the team helped sort, organize and pack essential items for children birth-age 12, and the DASH Walk for Organ Donor Awareness.

Martino, a sophomore from Monroe, Conn., helped raise money for multiple organizations throughout the year, ranging from local groups to national groups like the American Cancer Society. She fundraised for the ACS through her work with Daffodil Days at SCSU. She wrapped up daffodils that were purchased in support of cancer research. She also baked pies for the Springfield Rescue Mission in Springfield, Mass. for their Thanksgiving dinners and served at Loaves and Fishes in downtown New Haven, Conn. events that benefited the local community. Martino also volunteered at the Connecticut Food Band in East Haven, Conn. While tutoring on a weekly basis at the Beecher School in New Haven. The midfielder assisted with Southern Day of Service in New Haven by cleaning up the local community through painting, landscape, trash removal, and also assisted with Comcast Cares days which also helps to cleanup areas of New Haven.

Martino worked at the Relay for Life at SCSU and served as a clinician at the annual Women and Girls in Sports Day held at SCSU. A member of the Service team and a peer mentor, Martino is in the Zeta Delta Epsilon sorority, honors society and leadership program and gives campus tours to prospective student athletes.

Helming, a senior from Canandaigua, N.Y., helped raise over $5,000 for various organizations, including the Zack Hinish Foundation, breast cancer awareness, and Children's Cancer Recovery. She coordinated the Second Annual Gatorade Pong Tournament at St. Francis, providing a late night alternative activity for the campus student-body to take part in and also raise money for the Hinish Foundation. She helped launch the Think Pink Push-Up Showdown sponsored by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in January, raising money for BCA as part of the annual Think Pink/Pink Zone Women's Basketball game. The competition was amongst teams to see what team could do the most push-ups, with contestants getting pledges to raise money. The midfielder also coordinated St. Francis' efforts in the annual Northeast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Penny War, during which student-athletes at Northeast Conference schools raised money for the Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation.

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