Nov. 28, 2013 MADISON, Wis. — University of Wisconsin student-athletes are among the most civically involved in the country. Since May of 2012, student-athletes have volunteered 3,959 hours to the Madison community and appeared at 147 events.
Badgers student-athletes interact with fans across the Madison area at various events, from visiting children at the American Family Children’s Hospital to collecting food donations with the Red and White Hunger Fight. Here, in their own words, UW student-athletes share why they give back and the importance of doing so:
Brittany Ammerman, Women’s Hockey
“I am thankful for community service and Badgers Give Back because of the smiles it brings to others and also to myself. Being able to participate in the community as an athlete allows me to use my abilities as a platform to reach out to others and make an impact away from the rink. I am thankful that community service provides me this opportunity to use my athletic talent in a positive way.”
Duje Dukan, Men’s Basketball
“Community service is an incredible opportunity to create a bridge between the community and the student-athletes, but also the university as well. It allows us to show kids that we are regular people and try to pass along the life messages that we have learned. It’s important because as a kid, when I had the opportunity to get advice or talk to an athlete, I was all eyes and ears.”
Katie Delaney, Women’s Swimming & Diving
“I am thankful for community service because it allows me to show my thanks to the community that I grew up in and now supports me as a Badger. Through community service, I am able to show kids that they can achieve their dreams like I did.”
Football leads all UW teams in terms of community service, having donated 1,337 hours to improving the Madison community since May. The group is led by its 23 seniors, the most heavily involved class in Badgers history. Collectively, the seniors have volunteered more than 2,000 hours during their five-year careers.
Ethan Hemer, Football
“I am thankful for community service because it gives me an opportunity to give back to those who have supported me throughout my time here. The community service that we have here at Wisconsin, our opportunities, provide us with a great chance to give back to those who need it most, and it’s also a very rewarding feeling to see the responses and the looks on people’s faces when we are able to help out others.”
Jacob Pedersen, Football
“I’m thankful to be a part of the Wisconsin Badgers family because of the opportunity it provides to give back to the kids. I, too, grew up watching athletes like myself and other guys on the team. Seeing sometimes, when you come down after a game I will give a kid my game gloves and to see the smile on their face and to know that it really made their days… moments like those are really why I am thankful to be a part of this family.”
UW student-athletes give back for one reason: to thank you, Badgers fans, for all of your support. We are thankful for YOU. Happy Thanksgiving!