April 5, 2010
All 103 CSU football players were involved in community service projects in February and March as part of Coach Fairchild's new annual initiative. According to Fairchild, the purpose of this project is to encourage players to give back to the community that cheers them on every season.
Colorado State’s football season doesn’t end in the winter. The Rams work extremely hard during the offseason, in the weight room and on the field during spring practice.
And this offseason, the Rams added a new element to their offseason schedule: Quality time within the Northern Colorado community.
Every player on the CSU football roster, all 103 current student-athletes on campus, gave time back to the community in February and March. It’s an annual structured initiative Head Coach Steve Fairchild began this spring, to ensure that the Rams are returning the support the Fort Collins and surrounding communities have given the team.
“I asked the entire team to be involved in some sort of community service,” Fairchild said. “I know it’s difficult to be a student as well as a Division I athlete, but I also know it’s still important to give back.
“We’re not going to stop here, either. I want us to be one of the most active football programs in the country with respect to work in the community. We’ll do some other things at different times of the year.”
Team advisor Johnny Square and director of football operations Tom Ehlers organized the first annual CSU football community initiative. Members of the football team made 10 appearances across Northern Colorado.
To help structure the appearances, most featured a specific position group. Several upperclassmen took the lead in keeping their teammates accountable, and the Rams completed the very rewarding experience in time for the beginning of spring practice.
“Pastor Square and Tom were a big help in organizing this for us,” Fairchild said. “They went to work at the beginning of this past semester to come up with some places in the area where our players could be effective in making a difference. I was very proud of the leadership many of our seniors and other players displayed.”
Several defensive linemen, cornerbacks and safeties visited the Boys and Girls Club on March 2 and March 11. At each of the two appearances, players helped members of the club with homework and reading, and also participated in the club’s sports programs. The three Larimer County locations service 100-150 kids each day.
On a Sunday afternoon, the Rams participated in Lakeview Commons Assisted Living’s social hour, meeting with the elderly residents and their families.
Several players visited the Foothills Gateway adult-care services center, which has improved the lives of thousands of people with cognitive disabilities since 1972, to play video games such as Wii, put puzzles together, and in general, get to know some of the members and their families.
The biggest players on the team spent the afternoon visiting with patients and their families serviced by Respite Care. The organization is a non-profit entity open 24 hours a day to help children with developmental disabilities and their families.
The players met senior citizens at the North Shore Health and Rehab Facility to spread goodwill, take some photos and share a few laughs on a Saturday afternoon.
CSU’s kickers, punters and long-snappers, brought smiles and a good time to elderly patients at Lemay Health and Rehab Facility who are struggling to overcome surgeries and other health issues.
The players toured the Loveland Hearts and Horses facility, then helped to move and organize supplies into a new paddock. They also interacted with clients at the therapeutic riding center, which promotes physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being for people with special needs, through equine-assisted therapy.
CSU’s signal-callers and ball-carriers devoted a couple nights in February to prepare food and serve dinner to homeless individuals at the Open Door Mission, in Old Town Fort Collins.
The players joined several Fort Collins kids at the city’s annual Youth Sports Fundraiser and Football Bash, the day before the Super Bowl at The Edge Sports Center near I-25 and Mulberry. CSU’s players interacted with kids, signed autographs, and hung out with boys and girls in Grades 1-6.
Contact: Zak Gilbert
Phone: (970) 491-5067