April showers didn’t stop nearly 140 Hamilton student-athletes from making a difference throughout the Utica area on Saturday, April 9, as part of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Day of Service.
The occasion marked the first time the annual event has taken place since 2019 because of the pandemic. The COOP (Communities Outreach and Opportunities Project) and Hamilton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) made it a reality again this year.

"Hamilton students and our community partners alike were excited to get this opportunity back up and running after having to put it on hold for so long," said Mackenzie Christensen ’22, a member of the women’s soccer team and one of the event’s lead organizers. "It was great to see the athletic community here be so dedicated to this event’s resurgence and giving back to the local community."

Members of more than a dozen off-season Continental teams collectively dedicated more than 400 hours of service to a variety oflocal organizations such as the Utica Zoo, Kirkland Art Center, Town of Madison Historical Society, and Hope House. From painting and preparing meals for local community members to organizing donations and cleaning up outdoor spaces and gardens, student-athletes spent the day completing numerous tasks and projects.

"I asked for a can-do crowd, and that’s exactly what I got," one community partner said. "What a marvelously dedicated, hard-working, collaborative, and very good-natured group they were, despite the weather that would’ve put anyone’s good humor and constancy to quite a test. The Hamilton team did their college and their team proud."

The NESCAC Day of Service coincided with the NCAA’s Division III Week, which is a week-long event for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community.

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