'Dogs Win 2nd Straight MW SAAC Service Award
Marcy Levatino and Troy Sweeney at the SAAC Blood Drive in December.
Marcy Levatino and Troy Sweeney at the SAAC Blood Drive in December.

March 6, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --- The Mountain West announced Fresno State as the winner of the 2013-14 MW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Community Service Award Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs have been awarded the MW SAAC Community Service Award back-to-back years since joining the conference in 2012.

In a conference-wide community service challenge from July 2013 to Feb. 2014, 11 MW institutions volunteered a total of 24,470 hours, surpassing last year's total by more than 9,000 hours. With a total of 4,225 hours, Fresno State earned the MW SAAC Community Service Award for the second year in a row. Utah State came in second with 3,686 service hours and Nevada finished third with 3,398 hours.

The award will be presented to representatives from Fresno State during the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's & Women's Basketball Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.

"We couldn't be more proud of our student-athletes for all of their time and commitment they have spent giving back to the Fresno community," said Senior Associate Athletics Director Steve Robertello. "Winning the award back-to-back years shows the strong community service culture that has been instilled in all of our student-athletes at Fresno State."

Fresno State student-athletes participated in numerous volunteer opportunities around the Valley and on campus, totaling 4,225 hours, which exceeds last year's total by 500 hours.

"It's great to see the jump in our hours and across the entire Mountain West since the start of the competition last year," said volleyball player and Fresno State SAAC President Marissa Brand. "It's encouraging to see the drive our conference's student-athletes have to give back to the communities that have given so much to them."

Together Fresno State student-athletes volunteered time in over 20 organizations in the community. SAAC's large community service event in the fall was a two-day blood drive during the month of December.

"Community service has been, and continues to be, a huge priority in our athletic department," added Brand. "As student-athletes, we are constantly seeking ways in which we can give back to the community that has supported us in all that we do, both on and off the court."

Already looking ahead, SAAC is planning a Spring Cleaning! Week from April 21-27. They will have bins placed around Fresno State's campus as well as at the softball and baseball games that weekend to collect clothes, shoes, accessories and cosmetics that they plan on donating to the Poverello House.

2013-14 Fresno State SAAC Community Service Projects
- iCan Bike Program
- Fresno Shape-Up
- Team Smile
- Blood Drive
- Big Hero, Little Hero
- National Women in Sports Day
- Every Neighborhood Partnership (Saturday Sports)
- Valley Animal Shelter
- Hosted clinics for children
- Bingo with Veterans
- Breast Cancer Awareness Pancake Breakfast
- ALS Walk
- Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
- Cooked dinner at the Ronald McDonald House
- Volunteering with local churches and elementary schools
- Break the Barriers
- Chaffee Zoo
- Bulldog Pantry
- Community Food Bank
- Down Syndrome Association of Central California

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