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    'Tis the Season for 'Cats to Give Back

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Student-athletes helped deliver canned goods to Family Focus in Evanston.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Student-athletes helped deliver canned goods to Family Focus in Evanston.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Dec. 6, 2012

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    EVANSTON, Ill.-- The academic quarter is coming to a close with fall exams on tap; the winter season is heating up with basketball and wrestling in full swing and the Wildcats are headed to the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl on New Year's Day. Still, dozens of Northwestern student-athletes found time this week to take part in great local community initiatives.

    Here's a look back at the various ways that the 'Cats have been able to give back this week:

    November 30
    On Friday, Nov. 30 Dave Sobolewski, Drew Crawford and Reggie Hearn of the men's basketball team paid a special visit to Lincoln Elementary School. The trio spoke at a pep rally about the importance of being a good student and unveiled a special incentive program where Lincoln students will have the opportunity to earn the chance to serve as ball kids for home games at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    December 1
    Saturday, Dec. 1 kicked off a busy weekend of community service for the Wildcats. Student-athletes from several of NU's 19 varsity teams including men's golf, fencing and women's tennis volunteered their time with the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association and its Bowling Tournament.

    Also on Saturday, Northwestern's softball team joined forces with Supplies for Dreams to host Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students in Evanston for Wildcat Workouts. Supplies for Dreams is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the educational experience for CPS students so that they may achieve their dreams in life.

    December 2
    The weekend continued with four members of the national champion women's lacrosse team participating in the "Lifting the Human Spirit By Visiting the Sick" program at the Claremont Rehab & Living Center in Buffalo Grove. Amanda Macaluso, Kelly Rich, Beatrice Conley and Alyssa Leonard all took part in this day of service with the Team Spirit Institute.

    December 3
    Dwight White, a freshman member of the football team, traveled to the Chicago International Charter School in the loop on Monday, Dec. 3. White spoke about character, the importance of setting goals and preparing for college.

    December 5
    Two events were on the docket for Wednesday, Dec. 5. Willie the Wildcat joined a group of student-athletes, including fencers and women's tennis players at Dewey Elementary School in Evanston to Dance for Dewey and the annual All-School Dance Party Challenge. The 'Cats were on hand to encourage students to dance and raise money for the Dewey PTA.

    With the holidays right around the corner, another group of NU student-athletes, including members of the men's and women's soccer, cross country, football, women's swimming and field hockey squads visited the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center on Wednesday to join in the festive celebration.

    December 7
    This week's final activity was the culmination of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Food Drive on Friday, Dec. 7. Since Nov. 18, members of SAAC have solicited thousands of donations of canned goods at various home events, as well as from their teammates and other Northwestern employees, all to benefit Family Focus in Evanston. On Friday the donations were rounded up and delivered to Family Focus by SAAC members.

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