Stories of the Decade: #5

Oskaloosa–The Champions of Character initiative takes center stage at #5 on the Stories of the 2010s top-10 list.

William Penn collected three Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Awards during the decade. The women’s golf team claimed the first in the 2011-2012 season, while the women’s indoor track and field team earned the accolade for its sport in 2012-2013. Women’s golf again took home the honor in the 2013-2014 campaign.

The women’s golf team’s first recognition came after the squad accomplished numerous volunteering efforts, beginning with helping the local Optimist Club with the setup and teardown of flags for WPU’s Veteran’s Day football game.

The crew also worked hard during the winter, both ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign and helping organize a warm clothing drive at Oskaloosa Elementary School. They helped raise over $1,000 for the Salvation Army and collected nearly 100 items of clothing for OES.

In April of that school year, the Statesmen assisted at the Southeast Iowa Special Olympics event, while then-Head Coach Nik Rule talked to students at Roy Miller HS in Corpus Christi, Texas about the COC program.

“It means the world to us to be able to help others, especially those in need,” Student-Athlete Natalie Booton said. “If volunteering a few moments of our time allows for us to make a difference in someone’s life, it is worth it.”

The following year, the women’s indoor track and field squad gathered the acknowledgement.

William Penn began its year of service in late September by helping Habitat for Humanity build several yard sheds for families. In October, program members then helped the YMCA set up and monitor runners for its Freaky Friday Fun Run.

The following month, student-athletes volunteered with the annual American Association of University Women’s Book Drive. They carried in and unloaded boxes of donations as well as set up tables; the book drive helped raise over $4,000. William Penn then rang bells for the Salvation Army in December, helping raise over $900.

The final project the team assisted with prior to its nomination came in January when team members served lunch to Special Olympics athletes at their annual Play Day on the WPU campus.

Not only did the Statesmen student-athletes perform numerous service projects, but they also spread the NAIA’s COC message at nearly every event.

“I am so excited for our women’s track team winning the NAIA’s Champions of Character award,” Head Coach Allen Friesen said. “It is well-deserved for all the efforts that were put forth this last fall. This award not only belongs to the women’s track team but to the entire track program as well as the William Penn University and Oskaloosa communities. It proves by working together everyone benefits and many, many lives can be touched.”

Women’s golf then stretched the streak to three years with a COC accolade with its recognition in 2013-2014. The team brought awareness to Breast Cancer Awareness in October by selling $210 worth of apparel; all proceeds went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Also for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Statesmen volunteered during a William Penn football game to paint children’s and students’ faces with the breast cancer ribbon logo.

During the winter months, squad members volunteered as the local YMCA hosted a mini-putt fundraising event. When spring rolled around, student-athletes spent several hours reading to local students at the Oskaloosa Elementary School.

“We feel that it is important to incorporate character into our team dynamic because not only do we want to represent ourselves in a positive light on the course, but we are also building character that will take us on whatever path that life may lead,” Student-Athlete Courtney Kronmuller said.

Posted by on Feb 11 2020. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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