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UAlbany Student Athletes Assist Families in Need

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 9, 2011) -- UAlbany student athletes have a unique understanding of their community – whether it be their team, their University or their fans. Their appreciation for the support shown to them is the reason why -- despite long hours on the practice fields or in the classroom -- the Great Danes volunteer more than 2,500 hours annually to provide positive experiences for the less fortunate.

UAlbany student athletes wrap presents for those in need

Each year, UAlbany students take part in the annual 'Adopt-a-Family' program to assist underprivileged children in Albany, N.Y.

This holiday season, members of the UAlbany football team will volunteer to help UAlbany alumnus Dr. Bob Paeglow '76, lead physician at Koinonia Primary Care in Albany's West Hill neighborhood. Dr. Paeglow, who played football for Coach Bob Ford during his tenure at UAlbany, gave up a lucrative medical career to devote his time and energy to caring for the underserved. As a result, People Magazine has lauded him as a "Hero Among Us." He and his staff have, on occasion, have even provided patients with a needed winter coat, or a check to pay for medicine.

The football team will collect donations and present gifts to underprivileged children at Dr. Paeglow's annual Christmas Blessing Celebration on Wednesday, December 14. Now in its fifth year, the celebration is filled with presents, crafts, food, games and caroling. The children also get to "shop" and wrap presents for their parents. The football team will help gather shopping and grocery gift cards, canned foods and nonperishables to make food baskets for families that need extra help, or older patients in need of companionship or caring.

Members of UAlbany's soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and track teams donated their time this season in support of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign and for Albany County’s Department for Children, Youth and Families Adopt-A-Family program.

"Our student athletes find it a great honor to help those in need during the holidays," said Vice President for Athletic Administration and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee McElroy. "It is through the dedication of our student athletes that our annual 'adopt-a-family' program and other volunteer efforts have succeeded in enhancing the quality of life for many families in the greater community."

Volunteering during the holidays is just one of the many ways UAlbany faculty, staff, and students make a World of Difference. To learn more about how UAlbany contributes, visit UAlbany-Community Connections.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit http://www.albany.edu/. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.