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Another great year for 49er community outreach

The end of the school year means a lot of wrapping up, but some end-of-year reports bring a bigger jolt of pride than others. The 49ers Athletic Academic Center, which includes the 49ers Life Skills program, sent word that 49ers student-athletes and teams donated over 2700 hours of community service over the past year. That equates to almost four months of donated time by the 49ers. If you look at it in terms of eight-hour days, the 49ers donated over 10 months of time to a variety of causes in and around the Charlotte area. And that is just the personal hours provided. The full impact of those community service projects also includes the monies and items collected for such projects as “Dig Pink”, “Toys for Tots”, “Samaritan’s Feet” and the annual 9/11 and Homecoming Blood Drives. At the top of the list was the donation made to Samaritan’s Feet, a Charlotte-based organization that provides shoes for those in need, both locally and internationally. That effort was spearheaded by track all-America Darius Law, who was President of the 49ers Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He pulled together the SAAC membership, got the 49ers basketball coaches to sign up with him and worked feverishly to collect funds and shoes for the organization. He then took 49ers basketball coach Alan Major and members of the two basketball teams with him to Samaritan’s Feet’s Shoe of Hope event in late April where he, Major and the rest of the student-athletes washed the feet of the recipients before presenting them with new shoes. Law, a 4.0 student who was one of three national finalists for the NCAA’s Walter Byers Post-Graduate Scholarship, participated in a variety of Community Service projects, including an appearance at a juvenile detention center. The 49ers men’s soccer and women’s volleyball team were highlighted in the report for donating the most community service hours. Much of the Volleyball’s team efforts centered on Dig Pink, an event to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. The men’s soccer team volunteered throughout the year with the local FCCA Soccer Club as well as the Harrisburg Youth Association Soccer teams in giving clinics and organizing practices. The outreach moves another direction June 4 when the 49ers welcome the community onto campus for the Athletic Foundation’s Annual Great Gold Rush Auction. Want to try your hand at being a fighter pilot for the day? Have an interest in being filmed and featured on Bob Redfern's Outdoor Magazine, a nationally syndicated outdoor program on VERSUS and FOX Sports? Would you and a group of friends like to take a charter flight to Atlantic City, NJ to give the tables a shot? Want to bid on a five-night exclusive private waterfront villa in St. John, US Virgin Islands? Have you ever wanted to attend the Super Bowl? The Charlotte 49ers Athletic Foundation will host the 28th Annual Great Gold Rush Auction, Saturday, June 4, 2011 on-campus at Halton Arena inside the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. A wide variety of over 1400 items will be available to the over 625 attendees. Available items will range from electronics, furniture, artwork, sports equipment and sports memorabilia to getaway vacations, one-of-a-kind experiences and behind-the-scenes access to a variety of events. For more information on how to attend the gala event, contact the Athletic Foundation at (704) 687-4950.