Athletes hit $40,000 in 2017-18

Varsity Leadership Council introduces Autism Mentorship Program, partner with Pathways to Education

The 2017-18 Varsity Leadership Council.

While Queen’s athletes were busy giving fans something to cheer about during the 2017-18 season, they were also giving back to the community.

Over the course of the past year alone, the Varsity Leadership Council (VLC) pulled in $40,000 thanks to fundraising efforts.

"It’s great to see the fundraising component, but also a high priority is to give back to members of the Kingston community," said Lana Unsworth, Associate Director of Marketing, Communications and Events of Queen’s Athletics, in an email to The Journal.

Student athletes from every sport involved themselves in giving back to the Kingston community this year.

The newly-instated Autism Mentorship Program paired 40 athletes with 80 local children with developmental disabilities. Meanwhile, 139 athletes from 14 sports turned out for Queen’s Motionball, a fundraiser that provides an integrated environment for Special Olympians to participate with community members.

Queen’s annual Run for the Cure, which accounted for well over half of the council’s fundraising activities, was the VLC’s most successful fundraising activity. The men’s rugby team spearheaded these efforts, with the majority of the team collecting funds in the weeks leading up to the run.

"In the last couple years, we’ve had a contest to promote the fundraiser for other athletes where it’s the athletes versus the men’s rugby team … [men’s rugby] always wins," VLC co-president and women’s basketball player Andrea Priamo said.

Alongside the VLC’s strong fundraising this year, they were also able to create a partnership with Pathways to Education, a national organization that assists low-income children in funding their post-secondary education. While money was not raised for Pathways, student athletes were able to meet with Pathways students and talk about university life.

Coming off fundraising efforts and community projects, Priamo said the VLC is continuing to push their fundraising goals every year. With this in hand, she was clear that reaching a fundraising goal is one of the council’s focuses—but certainly doesn’t sit at the forefront.

"It just feels good to help," Priamo said. "I know the impact it has on our community, and building that relationship with Queen’s Athletics and the Kingston community is really important to me."

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