Bearcats Participate in United Way Days of Caring

Football Players Volunteer on Projects at Seven Locations

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University football team contributed volunteer labor at seven locations throughout the Salem area on Saturday, Aug. 21 to help with the United Way Days of Caring. Willamette's football team has participated in the Days of Caring for seven consecutive years.

Each group of Bearcats was led by a project coordinator who kept everyone focused on the assigned tasks. At West Salem High School, the players helped with a variety of landscaping jobs, including clearing out weeds, trimming excessive growth and spreading out bark chips. Bearcats working near WU's campus in downtown Salem cleaned and painted fire hydrants.

At the Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service Office, Willamette volunteers spread out bark chips throughout the low-maintenance yard as well as around playground equipment. They also completed other outdoor clean-up projects. The group working at the Northgate Forgiveness and Peace Garden helped build the frame for a storage shed, planted numerous flowers and contributed to overall maintenance.

WU football players also worked at Chemawa Indian School, Clare Bridge (Alzheimer's and dementia care live-in facility) and Liberty House.

At Chemawa Indian School, the Bearcats spread bark chips and bark dust, removed blackberry bushes and added some plants to the landscape. Volunteers at Clare Bridge supplied a new coat of paint to shingles, lines in the parking lot and nearby curbs. They also removed moss from cracks in the sidewalk. Bearcats at Liberty House completed yard work, cut shrubs, swept the sidewalks, washed windows and helped clean up the property.

The Days of Caring are sponsored by the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley. In recent years, more than 1,000
volunteers have completed single-day service projects to clean up and improve buildings and landscapes at public locations and health and human service organizations. This year, the Days of Caring are scheduled for Sept. 6-11, but the Bearcats worked on Saturday due to the team's practice and game schedule.

Willamette opens the 2010 season by taking on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday, Sept. 4 in Stevens Point, Wisc. Game time is set for at 12 p.m. (PDT). Willamette is ranked #18 in the D3football.com Top 25 Preseason Poll and UW-Stevens Point is ranked #16.

The Bearcats' home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 18 against Southern Oregon University. Kickoff at McCulloch Stadium is slated for 1:30 P.M. (PDT).

Douglas Gilmore moves a wheelbarrow of bark chips at the Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service Office in Salem.

Douglas Gilmore moves a wheelbarrow of bark chips at the Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service Office in Salem.

Scott Schoettgen (left), Will Pohl (middle) and Trevor Matsumoto paint a fire hydrant in downtown Salem.

Scott Schoettgen (left), Will Pohl (middle) and Trevor Matsumoto paint a fire hydrant in downtown Salem.

Jason Rosselli (left), Brendan Manion (middle) and Andy Zweng volunteer at West Salem HS.

Jason Rosselli (left), Brendan Manion (middle) and Andy Zweng volunteer at West Salem HS.

Ryan Whitcomb and Ralph Pineda help frame a storage shed at the Northgate Forgiveness and Peace Garden.

Ryan Whitcomb and Ralph Pineda help frame a storage shed at the Northgate Forgiveness and Peace Garden.