CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the eight winners of the Commissioner’s Cup for community service in the 2018-19 school year. This year’s winners for 1A are Rosewood High School, Union Academy, and Pender High School. For 2A the winner is Mount Pleasant High School. In 3A the award winners are North Henderson High School and Person High School. The 4A winners are Independence and Panther Creek High Schools.
The Commissioner's Cup Competition is an award based on community service. Schools had their team or teams identify a need within the community and create a plan to conduct the service project. They then submitted a 2-minute video of the project to explain how the team served, the impact of the project on the community, the number of people served, the theme of the project and photos or video from the event. Winners each will receive a $1,000 stipend for their respective team or school athletic program.
About the Winners
Rosewood High School Varsity Football Team
The Rosewood High School Varsity Football team, sponsored by Head Coach Robert Britt, visited the Ronald McDonald House of Greenville to update the landscaping, building exterior, walls, cabinets and windows. The staff of the Ronald McDonald House receives some much-needed help in completing tasks they do not have time for in their day to day duties.
These updates allow visiting parents to ensure they have a clean, well-maintained space at the Ronald McDonald House while staying close to their child as they receive treatment. A group of 25 football players also take time to visit with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses at Vidant Medical Center. These young men spend time with these children and leave them with a small football as a gift. Anywhere from 30-50 children and their parents are touched through Rosewood Football’s service.
Union Academy Varsity Cheerleading Squad
Union Academy Varsity Cheer, sponsored by Coach Jennifer Smith, has completed several community service projects under the hashtag #UACheerHasHeart. The most impactful was the Snowball Dance for disabled adults that was sponsored by InReach. At a community service fair, the cheer girls learned about the first ever dance that would be held by the nonprofit.
The squad wanted to be a part of making it successful, so they set up, served food, and cleaned up after the event. Most importantly after the set up was completed, they changed out into formal dancewear and interacted and with the attendees. Over 100 people were served at the inaugural Snowball Dance and the team of 13 has already committed to volunteering again next year.
Pender High School Athletics
Pender High School Athletics, sponsored by Athletic Director Matt Davis, participated in service projects throughout the year to help their community. What started out five years ago with one team and one project, has grown into seven teams completing nine service projects. When Hurricane Florence struck eastern North Carolina, many were left stranded. Pender’s men’s and women’s cross country teams were instrumental in preparing their gym to serve as a shelter which served 200 fulltime residents before being relocated.
Coaches and athletes came in and setup over 200 cots, cleared classrooms and provided support for the Red Cross in building ramps for shower access, doing laundry for residents and interacting with those utilizing the shelter. Other community service projects included assisting with the Springfest Fun Run, preparing one thousand sandwiches at the Blueberry Festival, collecting donations for school supplies in Stuff the Bus with CIS, packing 17 boxes for Operation Christmas Child, running a food drive for hurricane relief, serving 700 plates at the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, and working at ACCESS of Wilmington at Carolina's Classic, a basketball game focused on inclusion of athletes with disabilities.
Mount Pleasant High School AWSUM Club
Mount Pleasant High School has established a tradition of community service and has created a club dedicated solely for this purpose. The Mount Pleasant High School AWSUM Club (Athletes Who Share Unselfish Moments) is a club made up of 35 male and female athletes from all NCHSAA sports, who come together for community service projects.
The club is sponsored by Coach Michael Landers and has served Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital through their charity flag football event “Tackling Childhood Cancer”, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Association through “Cops and Kids”, the Salvation Army, Dream on 3 and many more. This year the Mount Pleasant High School AWSUM Club contributed to over $40,000 raised by their involvement in projects.
North Henderson High School Volleyball Team
The North Henderson High School Lady Knight Volleyball team leads the Knights Vs Cancer program through coordinating several events throughout the school year. All funds raised supported Vs Cancer; a nonprofit dedicated to curing childhood cancer. Events throughout the year include Volley for a Cure, Volley Buff, TRX All Knight, Yoga Knight, Vs. Cancer Festival, and Survivors’ Walk. Overall the Lady Knight Volleyball Team, under the guidance of Coach Sue Moon, raised $21,000 this school year to support Vs. Cancer.
Person High School Men’s Basketball Team
Person County High School Men’s Basketball participated in a program titled “Taking Care of Home.” This Thanksgiving community event is geared towards providing whole meal boxes to kids and families silently identified by school counselors. The team worked hand in hand with Fourth Quarter Foundation Inc. Non-Profit Organization along with Underlying Success motivational brand.
The Person High School Men’s Basketball team held a pre-season “Countdown to Blastoff” intra-team event where the cost of admission to attend would be canned goods and Thanksgiving food items. These food items filled two 55-gallon trash cans and beyond through this event. The team then packaged boxes with food that served 80 families and over 500 individuals, ensuring these families would have a Thanksgiving meal.
Independence High School Football Team
Independence High School Football, sponsored by Marie Matthews, implemented “Victory Day,” a day of education, inspiration and fun on the gridiron for their Extension Program students at Independence High School and Mint Hill Middle School. For the special day 38 individuals with cognitive disabilities were provided with a full “game day experience”.
Each participant had the opportunity to play football, cheer with the cheer squad, or march with the band while their parents, family members, caregivers and teachers witness the realization of a dream coming true for their child or friend. Victory Day was founded on the belief that building character holds equal importance to a student’s academics and the fundamentals necessary to be successful both on and off their competitive fields.
Panther Creek High School Cross Country Team
Panther Creek High School Cross Country participates in a Trail clean up at American Tobacco Trail and New Hope Church Road Trailhead Park through the town of Cary's Adopt-a-Spot program, 4 times per year. Since November 2016 Panther Creek Cross Country aims to support the wider running community by assisting with trail cleanups and the Tobacco Road Marathon. The “Adopt-a-Spot” program gives participants a 2-mile section of the trail.
Using the trail for practice, the Panther Creek Cross Country athletes wanted to ensure that they left no trace so that it may continue to be comfortably inhabited by wildlife and allow people to enjoy the outdoor area. For each quarterly clean up activity, a minimum of 10 athletes participates and complete a report that is then filed with the Town of Cary, detailing how much trash has been picked up. To date, the Catamount Cross Country teams have collected approximately 200 pounds of trash from the trail, including an old television set, tires, and a car bumper.