Sparkill, N.Y. - On Sunday, November 2, 2014 the St. Thomas Aquinas Women’s Basketball Team held a Halloween Candy Drop. Teaming up with the Spartan Dance Team and Cheerleading squad, the group collected Halloween candy from the local community to be donated to the troops. While delivering the candy they had collected on Halloween to the St. Thomas Aquinas campus, the children were given the opportunity to have their faces painted by the cheer and dance teams and to make holiday crafts with the women’s basketball team. There was also a letter writing station where the children could write letters to our troops. They sent a mix of holiday greetings as well as messages of thanks. All participants received giveaways for their participation in the event.
The Halloween Candy Drop was a successful event for both the athletic department and the community. It was based on the theme of service within the NCAA DII attributes. It promoted healthy living through the donation of Halloween candy, while also teaching an important lesson to the local youth. They thanked those that protect our country and learned the importance of making donations. They also learned about the importance of making someone smile through small positive gestures. Although this event was geared towards children, we had great participation from entire families. While the majority of the participants were from the local community, we also received a great deal of support from the STAC community. Many administrators, staff and professors attended with their own children. The feedback following the Halloween Candy Drop was extremely positive and we look forward to hosting the event in the future.
Following the event, the candy was sorted by the teams and shipped to Operation Gratitude, where it was sorted and distributed to the troops. Over sixty pounds of candy were collected. To cover the shipping costs, the Women’s basketball team hosted a children’s basketball clinic on Columbus Day. All proceeds from the clinic went directly to the cause.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. They seek to lift spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military. Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with food, hygiene products, entertainment and handmade items, plus personal letters of support, addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers.
Provided by the St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information Department.