More than 110 University of Chicago student-athletes and a dozen athletic department staff performed a variety of tasks as part of a community service effort at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club on Sunday, April 21.
The large contingent of workers, representing all 19 varsity sports, spent two-and-a-half hours on Sunday morning engaged in volunteer labor at the intersection of 55th Street and Kenwood Avenue. The accomplished work included: Cleaning debris from the front entrance, cleaning the outdoor play lot, digging a trench to prevent flooding, washing walls and windows, cleaning, sanitizing and organizing the toy room, and organizing and cleaning two classrooms.
The most time-consuming and challenging project was laying a tile skate floor in the gymnasium. The floor was put down for the All Girl Flat Track Junior Roller Derby League team – the Second City Slaughter. As the only all-girl team in the city, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club website states, "the goal of the program is to create a community of female athletes, building girls' skating abilities, self-esteem, and emotional strength."
Additionally, more than 30 bags of outdoor yard waste were collected and picked up. UChicago Head Softball Coach Ruth Kmak, one of the event's organizers, viewed the day's work as a success.
"The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club does fantastic work right here in our community, offering wonderful opportunities for girls and boys to participate in literacy programs, mentoring experiences, workshops, gardening and sports, among other things," Kmak said. "While our teams all individually participate in a variety of their own service programs throughout the year, and the Women's Athletic Association and the Order of the C each undertake a major project on their own, this was a great chance for our student-athletes across all teams to get together for the first time and make a huge impact on this community organization in just one day."