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Student-Athletes Partner with Coconino County’s “From Our Family to Yours”

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona University Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) contributed to Coconino County’s first annual county-wide Holiday Adopt-A-Family drive to help six local families in need. SAAC officers Anna Clark, Nicole Elliot, Tori Rocke and Grant Hamilton, as well as team representatives led each athletics team to donations totaling $573.

“We wanted to do our part to help families and brighten their holiday season. Our goal is to get students-athletes out into the Flagstaff community. I believe we have a lot to offer each other, “said Nicole Elliott, Co-Chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

The first annual County “Adopt A Family” event was sponsored by the Finance, Health & Treasurer, IT, Superior Court, Community Development & Superintendent of Schools, and Adult Probation Departments. The county coalition provided six families with trees, lights, decorations, food boxes, gift cards, and many additional gifts. This is the first year NAU Athletics has partnered with the county-wide event. SAAC thanks Coconino County Health Department Senior Planner Sara Wagner, who assisted in coordinating the partnership.

Throughout the year, the Coconino Health Department provides a number of programs that contribute to the Flagstaff Community, including Healthy Start and Heartbeat. For more information, log on to www.coconino.az.gov/health.aspx

NAU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council is responsible for discussing student-athlete issues, planning community service projects, and serving as a collective voice for Lumberjack Athletics within the community. Adopt-A-Family serves as the last organized community service event of the semester. In the spring, SAAC will be organizing Student-Athlete for A Day with local elementary schools.

The NAU Athletics Department completed more than 3,800 community service hours during the 2008-09 academic year. In 2009, student-athletes, coaches and staff have participated in Red Ribbon Week, Welcome Week, Walk to School Day and Coconino County’s Holiday Adopt-A-Family while assisting organizations like the St. Mary’s Community Food Bank and Salvation Army.

By Diana Ulrey, Academic Coordinator

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