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O Heroes Volunteers Set For Busy February
Release Date: 02/04/2013
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EUGENE, Ore. -- O Heroes continues its community service activities in February with a couple of highlighted causes -- the Connecting Community Heroes workshop and the start of a local chapter for the Samaritan’s Feet movement.

Connecting Community Heroes workshop will be held Saturday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at UO’s Jaqua Center (Room 101). O Heroes, working in conjunction with the Jamii Moja Foundation, is bringing three Masai tribesmen from Kenya to meet with UO student-athletes and other campus groups such as: Warsaw Business Club, Women’s Center, Mills International Center, ASUO, LGBT, Holden Leadership Center and the Pit Crew.

The tribesmen will talk about living conditions in Kenya and the importance of using both men and women to build a society. The event will expose UO student-athletes to an initiative that impacts approximately 600 million girls (and their families) around the world. It will be hosted by seniors Carson York (FB) and Kayla Glanville (O Heroes) who have developed this project on a local level.

The Jamii Moja Foundation’s mission is to work with African communities to create infrastructure that promotes microenterprise, sustainable farming, land conservation, education, healthcare and women’s advocacy. More info can be found online at:

Also, O Heroes is responsible for starting up an Oregon-specific chapter for Samaritan’s Feet. Maggie Kovacs (LAX / SAAC) and Sarah Andrews (CC / T&F / SAAC) are responsible for leading the local movement with fundraising already underway and set to conclude in early June.

Nearly 300 million people around the world go without shoes each day and millions are plagued with foot-borne illnesses that may be preventable by simple protection – shoes.
Samaritan’s Feet -- a 501(c)(3) humanitarian aid organization -- has a mission to raise enough funding to put 10 million pairs of shoes of 10 million children in the next 10 years.

This cause was introduced to the college athletics mainstream in November of 2007 when
Samaritan’s Feet asked IUPUI basketball coach Ron Hunter to lead the Barefoot Coaching Movement by going without shoes and socks during a game. This year, staffs from the UO lacrosse and acrobatics & tumbling programs will join coaches from around the nation by going barefoot at a home event.

Click here to donate to the O Heroes Samaritan's Feet cause.
Or contact Judy Sheldon (541-346-5740 | for additional details on how to donate to the local chapter for Samaritan’s Feet.

Throughout the year, O Heroes will assist with several one-time service requests. Student-athletes from many different sports programs are called into action to work as volunteers. Below is a pair of upcoming service events on the calendar:

• Saturday, Feb. 9:  The UO baseball team is hosting a free youth clinic at PK Park for kids grades 1-8. The team is holding a scrimmage from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. which is open to youth attending the clinic. The team will teach baseball fundamentals at the clinic which will run from 1-3 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a baseball glove (and bat if they have one) to use during the clinic. The team will sign autographs at the end of the event.

• Wednesday, Feb. 13O Heroes will work with the United Way and UO Alumni Center for a community service event at Fairfield Elementary School. O Heroes volunteers will play games and help students with their homework. The service activity will run from approximately 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Members of the UO lacrosse and soccer teams made a visit to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend on Sunday, Feb. 3. The O Heroes volunteers decorated the pediatric center to make it a nicer environment for the patients. O Heroes visits that pediatric center on a quarterly basis.

O Heroes volunteers from UO soccer and volleyball participated in the Polar Plunge held Saturday, Feb. 2 at Maurie Jacobs Park in Eugene. The Polar Plunge is an event where individuals, organizations and businesses jump, walk or slowly crawl into frigid Oregon waters. Participants were required to raise a minimum of $50 (through sponsors) with proceeds benefitting Special Olympics Oregon. Student-athletes who particpated included: Kendall Brooke and Riley Smith of women's soccer and Lauren Plum, Canace Finley, Tatum Norton, Haley Jacob, Martenne Bettendorf
and Clelia DeFelice of the volleyball team.

Dance Marathon, one of the university’s biggest philanthropic events of the year, received support from the O Heroes community on Saturday, January 26. Student-athletes acted as judges for the competition portion of the event. Dance Marathon is an all-day event put on annually by Oregon’s Fraternity and Sorority Life and Children’s Miracle Network. This year participants raised $24,137 to help support children and their families while receiving care at local hospitals.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, O Heroes visited Gilham Elementary School to read to students. UO student-athlete volunteers consisted of Kendall Brooke (WSOC), Robin Cambier (MTEN) and Sarah Andrews (CC/TF). The O Heroes spent a couple of hours reading books that were selected by Gilham students.

O Heroes donated their time to the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Valley (BGC) in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Student-athletes from the lacrosse, volleyball, football and women’s basketball teams spent the afternoon doing crafts, playing games and working on homework with local BGC members. The lacrosse team presented a check to the BGC in the amount of $1,523.07. That money was raised from work they did through the Autzen Green Team Tailgate Recycling Program. During home football games this past season, lacrosse players worked to educate and engage Duck fans about the value and importance of recycling, while providing a convenient method of disposal.

After spending time with some of the volunteers from O Heroes, youth members of the BGC decided to host a Football Appreciation Day to recognize the success of this year’s 2012 team. BGC members sent out hand-made invitations to the players. The social was held on Jan. 25 and over 25 football players attended the pizza party.

On Jan. 21, O Heroes joined forces with UO’s Duck Corps for “MLK Day On!” Over 400 UO student volunteers came out from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. to help improve the building conditions at Willamette High School. Twenty-five student-athletes participated with the encouragement of Lauren Plum (VB), who acted as the O Heroes point person and helped coordinate efforts between O Heroes, Duck Corps, and WHS’s Willamette Pride.

The Duck Cup is an O Heroes competition between all teams that effectively encompasses the major areas of student-athlete life. These areas include academic excellence, athletic excellence, personal development, career development and community service.

Teams are awarded points based on each category’s criteria (see Point System on page 4 for more details). The 2012-13 standings through the fall quarter are listed below.

2012-13 Duck Cup Team Totals
(1) Lacrosse-412.8; (2) Acro & Tumbling-405; (3) Soccer-219.5; (4) Women’s Golf-211.6; (5) Women’s Tennis-161; (6) Women’s Basketball-154.6; (7) Men’s Tennis-111.6; (8) Football-101.3; (9) Softball-53; (10) Volleyball-34.7; (11) Women’s Track & Field-34.7; (12) Baseball-17.6; (13) Men’s Track & Field-13.8; (14) Men’s Basketball-13.2; (15) Men’s Golf-11.4.


O Heroes wrapped up the fall quarter community service events with a jam-packed month of November. O Heroes volunteers hosted Animal Shelter Day at Greenhill Humane Society, hosted their third-annual “Bowling Night” with Special Olympics Oregon, coordinated involvement with the men’s health movement of Movember, all while providing Thanksgiving baskets for families in Lane County.

Animal Shelter Day kicked-off the weekly service partnership for O Heroes volunteers at Greenhill Humane Society. Several UO student-athletes spend time on a weekly basis at Greenhill, where volunteers help walk, run and play with the animals in an effort to help make them more adoptable. Twenty-five UO student-athletes from nine different sports volunteered for the event. Volunteers were from the following teams: Lacrosse (11), Softball (3), Soccer (3), Football (2), Women’s Basketball (2), Baseball (1), Track & Field (1), Tennis (1), Men’s Golf (1). Click here for photo album.

The third-annual “Bowling Night” with Special Olympics Oregon drew over 30 student-athletes from seven different sports. The event -- which was held at Emerald Lanes in Eugene -- featured O Heroes volunteers teaming-up to bowl games with Special Olympians from Oregon. Click here for photo album.

Many UO coaches, student-athletes and support staff grew mustaches in affiliation with Movember which helps create awareness for men’s health. Each November, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. In all, UO Athletics had 62 members participate in the 2012 Movember movement.

Also in November was the annual O Heroes Thanksgiving Basket Drive. O Heroes gathered 61 Thanksgiving baskets and raised another $700 through their volunteer work. Initially, O Heroes -- with St. Vincent de Paul -- aimed to collect 50 food baskets to distribute throughout the community.

In the fall O Heroes collected 240 sports bras for female athletes in West Ambrym, Pacific Islands through their month-long Support Sport initiative. The drive was led by Brooke Strawn, a freshman on the women’s soccer team, who recognized female athletes’ need for sports bras on the island. Click here for photo album.

Over winter break, Strawn flew to West Ambrym to meet with her sister Kristen Strawn, an Oregon alum and active Peace Corps member, and they surprised the village women with the collected sports bras. Upon arrival at the village, they were greeted by the chief. Brooke Strawn was honored at a ceremonial thank you celebration called salu-salu. After the ceremony, they first distributed the sports bras to the island’s female soccer team and then to the remaining village girls and women.

The sports bras that the Lane County community donated to the Support Sport initiative enabled the female athletes of West Ambrym to participate in sports more comfortably and enhanced the everyday lives of the village women as a whole.

Although there was a language barrier, Strawn said, “I could tell that they [appreciated] the sports bras because they were laughing and smiling and just having a good time.”

For up-to-date information on all things related to O Heroes, follow on Twitter @OHeroes and like on Facebook. The online home for O Heroes is

Each week O Heroes sits down with one of our student-athletes to get to know more about them on and off the field. This week’s feature is on Dustin Haines, a 6-3 senior captain on the Oregon football team. Haines is currently pursing an undergraduate degree in General Science and General Social Science applied in Economics and Business.

A native to Eugene, Haines spends much of his time giving back to the Eugene/Springfield community. A weekly visitor at the Boys and Girls Club of Emerald Valley, Haines is a positive role model to the kids he works with.

Haines has volunteered with Special Olympians at the Polar Plunge, lead activities at Quackin’ Action, and read to local kids at Dr. Seuss Day and Read for America. Haines’ active involvement within the Oregon community has inspired other student-athletes to give back as well.

After graduation, Haines hopes to either start coaching football or travel the world. In the future, he plans to continue to mentor kids- emphasizing the importance of teamwork.

The Hero of the Week selections are made by O Heroes student directors Maggie Kovacs (LAX) and Lauren Plum (VB).

2012-13 Hero of the Week Listing
The following is a list of student-athletes who have been recognized as Hero of the Week during the 2012-13 seasons:

Ashley Inman (LAX) - Sept. 27
Grant Thompson (FB) - Oct. 11
Maddy Mercier (WSOC) - Oct. 25
Marcus Mariota (FB) - Nov. 2
English Gardner (T&F) - Nov. 9
David Wylie (BSB) - Nov. 29
Allie Woodward (T&F/CC) - Dec. 6
Maggie Kovacs (LAX) - Jan. 10
Noah Sheikh (MGOLF) - Jan. 17
Naomi Hoffman (A&T) - Jan. 24

2011-12 Hero of the Week Listing
Last year, O Heroes began profiling student-athletes who were particularly active in serving the community.

The following is a list of student-athletes who were recognized as Hero of the Week during the 2011-12 seasons:

• Jessica Drummond (LAX) - Jan. 24
Amanda Johnson (WBB) - Feb. 1
James Scales (FB) - Feb. 6
Michael Clay (FB) - Feb. 15
Chynna Miley (WBB) - Feb. 23
Alaina Bergsma (VB) - March 1
Boseko Lokombo (FB) - March 7
Erin Block (A&T) - April 18
Trudie du Toit (WTEN) - April 25
Kenjon Barner (FB) - May 21

Over 25 O Heroes volunteers braved the cold and damp conditions in the early morning of Sunday, Oct. 21 to assist in the annual Susan G. Komen Eugene Race For The Cure. Many of the student-athletes’ volunteer shifts began as early as 6 a.m. The O Heroes contingency helped the race’s organizers by checking in participants prior to the start of their races, gave out t-shirts and running bibs to each participant, served at water stations and assisted as course monitors throughout the race. Click here for photo album.

The Oregon Acrobatics and Tumbling program took time out on Saturday, Oct. 13, to assist with the inaugural Nick Symmonds Springfield 800. Proceeds of the event benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lane County. Symmonds, a five-time U.S. Champion, was on hand to meet with participants. The race was run through the historic Washburn District in downtown Springfield. Many elite track and field athletes participated along with community members. Music was played both before and after the race, and food vendors were set up at the City Hall Fountain Plaza. The student-athletes who volunteered helped with all aspects of the pre- and post-race festivities. Click here for photo album.

O Heroes Director Judy Sheldon and the University of Oregon recently participated in a Global Sports Mentoring Program affiliated with the Center for Sport Peace Society, the U.S. Department of State and espnW.

Seventeen different women from all over the world were identified as emerging leaders in sports. Each traveled to the United States where they were paired with leading U.S. women who work in a sports-related field.

Hongxia Wei from Beijing, China, was the emerging leader who traveled to Eugene for the mentorship program. Wei works with China’s General Administration of Sport where she is Director of Law and Regulation. Wei was paired with Sheldon, who was selected as a leading woman in U.S. sports.

Specifically through the O Heroes program, Wei was exposed to a comprehensive community development program led by elite level athletes. Through her work with the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center in the Lundquist College of Business, Wei had an insider’s look at the sports industry, including management, media, and marketing.

Wei -- who spent three weeks in Eugene -- also worked with the many different departments within Oregon Athletics (administration, compliance, athletic communications, marketing, facilities).

The mentoring program was originated as part of an effort to empower women and girls through sports. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ESPN President John Skipper announced in June 2012 the creation of the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program.

O Heroes has partnered with Snoball, a social media-focused fundraising platform, and Malka Diamonds and Jewelry, UO’s officially licensed jeweler, in hopes of accelerating their fundraising efforts.

Snoball will give Duck fans, alumni, students and staff the ability to make small, event-triggered donations to O Heroes via a parameter of giving called a “snoball.” For example, users can make a $10 donation for each football win, $1 per goal for the soccer team, or $2 per dunk by the basketball team, with the ability to cap donations at a certain dollar amount. In addition, fans can create their own team-focused snoballs to fit their personal interest in each game, and link their contributions back to the O Heroes program. Snoballs will be made for each of the UO’s 17 varsity teams.

Once a user makes a Snoball account they are able to donate to any and all of O Heroes’ team-specific snoballs, share their giving on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, and help propel the ability for our student-athletes to create social change within our community.

Malka Diamonds and Jewelry has announced they will give 20 percent of all UO Collection jewelry bought on home football game days, both online or at their Portland store location, back to O Heroes. No promo code is necessary; all purchases from the UO collection on those days qualify.

Funds raised will support UO’s student-athlete volunteer efforts throughout the Eugene-Springfield community including, but not limited to, the following partners: Boys & Girls Club of Emerald Valley, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, KIDSPORTS, Greenhill Humane Society, Food For Lane County and the Lane County School Districts.

Student-athletes and staff from the University of Oregon Athletic Department embarked on a nine-day trip to the Dominican Republic from June 15-23. The UO contingent teamed up with Courts for Kids, a tax-exempt organization which regularly works with local groups and community members to build courts which provide youth with the opportunity to play sports. Click here for photo album and video highlights of the trip.

The 20 representatives from UO traveled specifically to Los Cerros which is part of the rural town of Don Juan located two hours north of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The team stayed with host families in very primitive conditions with bucket baths, latrines, sparse electricity and even sparser light bulbs. More available at

Courts for Kids is an official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, based in Vancouver, Washington. The mission of Courts for Kids is to foster love, compassion, service and an expanding worldview as we take teams to economically disadvantaged areas, partnering with local organizations and community members to build courts which will provide kids with the opportunity to play sports.

A complete recap of the 2012 O Heroes Abroad International Service trip -- with photos and video -- is online at


The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a committee made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institutions campuses. SAAC has representatives from each team and meets bi-monthly.

The UO SAAC has had a profound impact on the Athletic Department and the community. SAAC consists of an impressive group of student-athletes, the best of the best, and we are very proud of their hard work and leadership abilities.

SAAC intends to promote effective communication between the student-athlete population as a whole, student-athletes as individuals, and the athletic department administration. SAAC will also provide student-athletes the opportunity to communicate with administration on local and national issues affecting student-athletes, while allowing student-athletes with the opportunity to provide suggestions and feedback on programs that serve student-athlete needs.

Below is a listing of the executive staff for the 2012-13 academic calendar.

Co-Directors: Sarah Andrews and Lena Macomson
O Heroes Co-Directors: Lauren Plum and Maggie Kovacs
Sustainability Director: Grant Thompson
Football Liaison: Dustin Haines
Unification Director: Chelsea Randell
Cas to Campus: Julia Magdelino
Healthy Athletes: Robin Cambier

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