Ten student athletes from the University of Louisiana at Monroe participated in the Big Whit 77 Foundation’s “Wish List” project, which surprised 10 families in northeast Louisiana with dinner and a Christmas gift shopping spree. The foundation chose five families from Ouachita Parish and five families from Lincoln Parish.
ULM’s athletes were joined by athletes from Louisiana Tech University. The group was treated to dinner and games at Chuck E. Cheese’s followed by a surprise shopping spree at Toys “R” Us.
Lisa Miller, ULM Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, and Big Whit 77 Foundation board member said, “This is what Christmas is all about. Our athletes really got into the spirit of giving and it is so wonderful to know that we can do some good in this world.”
ULM sent athletes from three sports. Women’s Basketball representatives were Aleesha Coulter, a senior psychology major from Auckland, New Zealand; Alayshia Hunter, a junior kinesiology major from Killeen, Texas; and Christina Gray, a senior accounting major from Winnfield.
Men’s Basketball representatives included Chinedu Amajoyi, a senior communication major from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and Tylor Ongwae, a senior business major from Eldoret, Kenya.
ULM track and field was represented by members of its men’s and women’s teams including Jamel Sams, a senior computer science major from Longview, Texas; Dominique Cheffin, a sophomore nursing major from Ruston; Teona Glave, a senior agriculture business major from Manchester, Jamaica; and Rychlend Martin-Horne, a toxicology major from Bedford, Texas.
ULM Baseball was represented by Joshua Faciane, a general business major from New Orleans.
The athletes were chosen through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a group comprised of athletes from various sports who serve as the voice for student-athlete issues on and off the field.
The committee provides a forum for student-athletes to present specific concerns and participate in the formulation of policies within the department; promotes efficient communication between student-athletes and the athletic administration; encourages more involvement of the student-athlete in campus and community projects; helps build a sense of community within the athletic department and all athletic teams; and contributes and builds the Student-Athlete Life Skills Program.
Seth Hall, staff adviser for the SAAC, said “This event was awesome. This was one of the proudest I have ever been of ULM student-athletes. They were so excited to take part in a truly altruistic event and organization.”
The event was facilitated by The Big Whit 77 Foundation, and sponsored by Kirby-Orten-Guillot-Breaux and Associates from Merrill Lynch.
To learn more about the Big Whit 77 Foundation, visit http://www.bigwhit77.com/