Monday April 2, 2012Gators Give Back to the Community for Easter
Members of the University of Florida men’s basketball, baseball, tennis teams, various support staff and several student volunteers gathered this afternoon to help give back to the community for Easter.
“This is the second annual Easter Basket Extravaganza that we’ve had,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Jamie McCloskey, who helped plan and also volunteered at the event. “This year the goal was to put together 300 baskets for local families in need and for children that would normally not get an Easter Basket on Easter.”
The Gators and volunteers helped pack over 300 Easter Baskets for needy families in Gainesville and the surrounding areas. The event was made possible thanks to generous donations by Head Men’s Basketball Coach Billy Donovan, Head Baseball Coach Kevin O’Sullivan and Head Volleyball Coach Mary Wise.
“My buddy Greg Larson brings me to these things and lets me know when they’re happening and it’s great to give back and make these Easter Baskets for some little kids and put a smile on their face,” said baseball junior right-handed pitcher Hudson Randall.
This was the second annual year that the St. Augustine Church on W. University Ave. partnered with the University Athletic Association (UAA) for an Easter event to reach out to the Gainesville community. The Gators also took part in a Thanksgiving food drive which helped feed over 500 families.
“It was fun. It’s always nice to help out kids in need,” said junior men’s tennis player Bob van Overbeek. “A lot of athletes were here helping out and hopefully the kids will get a little bit better Easter because of it.”
The student-athletes and volunteers worked in an assembly line placing candy in baskets and helping bring it to cars before bringing it to its intended destinations.
“I was the stick man so I carried the baskets to the car,” said redshirt freshman basketball center Cody Larson. “It was a lot of fun and it’s always good to come and help out and do what we can to give these kids a good Easter.”
Photos from the event can be found here.