Central Islip, N.Y. – On Friday, October 25 the East Coast Conference held its first Team Up to Clean Up day. Three member institutions, Dowling College, Molloy College, and New York institute of Technology, provided clean up efforts in their local communities as part of the ECC’s one-day community service initiative.
“Team Up to Clean Up is one part of an ongoing effort by the East Coast Conference and our member schools to further display their commitment to partnering with and giving back to their communities,” stated ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. “We look forward to continuing this program as well as promoting many other activities which involve our other ECC schools too, all of whom work hard throughout the year to make a difference.”
Dowling College’s efforts included partnering with Keep Islip Clean, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., for the eighth consecutive year. “This is the eighth year that KIC had the good fortune of partnering with the Dowling student-athletes and their commitment and hard work are truly inspiring,” said Nancy Cochran, Executive Director of Keep Islip Clean. “In just one day these teams made a huge improvement not only in the beauty of the community but also in the health of the environment. The Dowling Clean Team is currently the single largest group volunteering through KIC and I truly value all their hard work.”
Over 300 student-athletes, coaches, and staff members spread throughout the community to pick up trash. In all, the Golden Lions collected over 130 bags of trash from locations such as train stations, sports complexes, and local shopping centers in the Islip community. The men’s lacrosse team also pitched in by landscaping at the Town of Islip Garden and Compost Facility.
“Over the past eight years, we have developed a great partnership with the Keep Islip Clean organization, “Dowling’s Vice President for Athletics, Melody Cope, stated. “This year we are excited to join forces with other members of the East Coast Conference, to extend our clean up efforts throughout Long Island.”
Molloy College’s clean up took place in the Village of Hempstead. “The clean up event was a great opportunity for our student-athletes to do something positive in a community that is so close to us,” remarked Molloy’s Director of Athletics, Susan Cassidy-Lyke. “They really enjoyed the outcome of their work and have already volunteered to do it again in the Spring.”
The Lions student-athletes, coaches and staff totaled over 164 hours of service in cleaning up sidewalks, weeding, laying fresh soil and mulch, and painting street guardrails.
“Our community is very thankful for the work the wonderful student-athletes from Molloy College did this weekend, and for the example they are setting for young people throughout Long Island,” said Village of Hempstead Mayor, Wayne Hall, Sr. “They did a phenomenal job of enhancing the beauty of our Village, and we will be cheering them on when they participate in, and, with all luck, win the East Coast Conference Championship.”
NYIT did their part by cleaning up at Manorhaven Beach Park in Port Washington and Manhasset Valley Park in Manhasset. Student-athletes from seven different teams cleaned the parks of debris and trash, including some unique finds such as umbrellas, field hockey sticks, and tires.
Director of Athletics, Clyde Doughty, Jr., was elated about NYIT’s involvement, saying, “The NYIT Bears were extremely excited to be part of the ECC clean-up initiative. The ability for our student-athletes to participate in community service activities such as this to enables them to understand their blessings of being a student-athlete.”
“Community service and engagement is one of the key highlights of a student-athletes collegiate career,” said NYIT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, Chinyere Udoh. “By participating in these events we are showing that NYIT cares and takes the time to reach out to community members. These interactions show that we care about positively impacting society and the younger generation.”
“Our first ‘Team Up to Clean Up’ day was a clear success,” said Dranoff. “The idea was for our student-athletes to work locally and help to beautify public places, reduce waste, and make a difference in their neighborhoods. Dowling College has been involved with the Keep Islip Clean program for many years and Molloy and NYIT followed that idea within their own communities.”
Dranoff also noted the kind support provided by Henry Schein, Inc., of Melville, N.Y., distributor of health care products and services, for Team Up to Clean Up. Supplies including protective gloves, garbage bags and wipes were graciously donated and used by the student-athletes.
Justin Hickam, Regional Sales Manager for Sports Medicine at Henry Schein, worked closely with the ECC to arrange for this donation. “On behalf of Henry Schein,” noted Mr. Hickam, “it was our pleasure to assist our local communities and the athletic programs at Molloy, Dowling and NYIT. When everyone chips in and works together to support their neighborhoods, we can accomplish great things.”