McLennan Athletics Continues Legacy of Community Engagement with Family Fun Day

 By Cheyenne Atchison

Each year, McLennan Community College hosts Family Fun Day for the Waco community. Neighborhood families are encouraged to bring their kids to the Bosque River Ballpark Complex to receive free admission into both the baseball and softball games. On March 23, the Highlanders and Highlassies are taking on North Central Texas College and Temple College, respectively.

In addition to the athletic games, MCC will have a variety of activities for families to partake in, including inflatables, games, and giveaways. This year, Pokey O’s will be available to serve desserts to visitors. Family Fun Day is a way for MCC to interact with the surrounding community and is only one of the many ways in which MCC engages with citizens of Waco and Central Texas. Throughout the year, students and faculty participate in multiple philanthropic events to support and better Central Texas.

This past January, MCC Athletics raised money for the American Cancer Society. Rather than competing against other colleges, each team competed against each other to see who could raise the largest amount in donations. Teams set up tables in the Learning Technology Center for students and faculty to contribute. Those that donated could sign their name or a loved one’s name on a Highlander card that is on display for the rest of the season. Tables were also set up outside of athletic games to collect donations from attendees. At the end of the month, the baseball team raised the most money for the American Cancer Society and won the competition.

Starting in 2016, the men’s golf team began a yearlong fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Military Tribute program. This program provides educational scholarships for spouses and children of fallen and disabled service members. By June of 2018, the team raised $1000 to support military families and their endeavors.

The women’s basketball team supports Play4Kay, raising funds for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Coach Kay Yow, the head coach of the North Carolina State University women’s basketball team, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away in 2009 after her battle with the disease. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is an organization that helps women affected by all forms of cancer. Funds are given toward research, prevention and assistance of those currently affected.

Locally, MCC athletics also works with organizations in Waco to benefit those specifically in Central Texas. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Food for Families in Central Texas. Sponsors, such as MCC’s baseball team, will stock the shelves of local food pantries and food banks with non-perishable items. Today, Food for Families has grown to be the largest one-day food drive in the state, serving nine counties within Central Texas.

The Highlassies softball team volunteered with No Limitations, another local charity established in July 2014 to help those who face developmental or physical challenges. Through No Limitations, affected individuals can take part in various activities, including team sports. By participating in social programs, those with disabilities can feel more included in the community and learn valuable skills. Through partnerships with charities and organizations like No Limitations MCC athletics gives back to the community.

“The athletics department at McLennan is always finding ways to reach out to Waco and the surrounding areas,” Jennifer Norman, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications said. “Community engagement allows us to show our appreciation for those beyond MCC.”

Cheyenne Atchison is a junior at Baylor University studying Marketing and Public Relations, and currently serves as an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at McLennan Community College.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.

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