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UAlbany Student Athletes Commit to Helping Others in Need During the Holidays

News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 13, 2010) --

UAlbany student athletes give their all on the courts and fields of their chosen sports, and the same holds true when they give to the community. Whether it's athletic teams wrapping presents for families in need or members of the Crew Club helping to bring safe drinking water to developing nations, student athletes at the University at Albany are finding ways to assist others during the holidays.

Recently, student athletes from all 19 Division-I UAlbany intercollegiate athletic teams banded together to support Albany County's 'Adopt-a-Family' initiative. The Great Danes took the extra time to wrap gifts for local families.

Matt Novosel, a senior defender on UAlbany's men's lacrosse team from Hudson, Ohio, noted how many parents are struggling to provide for their children. "What we're trying to do is help families in need," said Novosel, who is majoring in Biology.

UAlbany Crew Members rowing to support clean water initiatives in West Africa

Members of the University at Albany's crew club are rowing 100 kilometers to support clean water initiatives in West Africa.

"Our student athletes take great pride in our 'Adopt –a – Family' program where each team presents gifts to families in the Capital Region who can celebrate the Holidays because of the commitment and dedication of our student athletes to enhance the quality of life in our community," said Vice President for Athletic Administration and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee McElroy.

UAlbany student athletes volunteer more than 2000 hours annually to provide positive experiences to the less fortunate.

Crew Club members will earn a small donation from the company Concept 2 for each kilometer they row from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Concept 2 is the manufacturer of the oars and indoor rowing machines the team uses during the winter season.

Ben Rea of Liverpool, N.Y., a junior at UAlbany is leading the Crew Club's efforts to bring potable water to villages in West Africa. Rea, originally from Fayetteville, N.Y., selected UAlbany specifically because he has been able to combine his academic pursuits while still being able to row. His love for the water is matched by his desire to make a difference.

"Water is a vital resource globally, but one we often take for granted in the United States," said Rea. "By partnering with Concept 2, we are able to provide for those less fortunate than ourselves." All proceeds from the team's efforts go to support Charity: Water, a non-profit organization which utilizes 100 percent of public donations directly to fund water projects in developing nations.

The team has nearly 50 current members and alumni participating and each has agreed to row at least 100 kilometers (62.5 miles.)

To learn more about other opportunities where you can make a World of Difference, visit UAlbany's 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 For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit