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Opening Ceremony On Tap For O Heroes
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 09/19/2012
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EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon’s O Heroes program will begin the 2012-13 year with their annual Opening Ceremonies. This year’s event will be held at the new Pape’ Field on Sunday, Sept. 23, with the activities scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. (PT).

As part of the event, UO’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will speak to the student-athletes in attendance. The lead SAAC executives for 2012-13 are Lena Macomson (Women’s Tennis) and Ben DeJarnette (Cross Country / Track and Field). Lisa Petersen, Oregon’s Senior Women’s Administrator, will also be on hand to speak to the student-athletes about the importance of O Heroes and working closely with the community.

The O Heroes Opening Ceremonies will also feature a hypnotist act to have a little fun with student-athletes, coaches and support staff. UO student-athletes will receive academic resources (back pack, additional school supplies) and the customary O Heroes t-shirt as part of the event.

UP NEXT

O Heroes will host the third-annual Special Olympics Bowling Event which is scheduled for Nov. 12 at Emerald Lanes in Eugene. The event runs from 4-5:30 p.m. Click here for the 2012-13 calendar of annual service requests.  

ACROBATICS & TUMBLING SET TO DEFEND DUCK CUP CHAMPIONSHIP

The Oregon Acrobatics & Tumbling program earned the 2011-12 Duck Cup Team Championship. The Acro & Tumbling team completed over 215 hours of community service last year. Their signature effort was the organizing and implementation of the inaugural Duckling Days, an event which featured food booths, obstacle courses, raffles, carnival games and bounce houses for students from the Eugene and Bethel School Districts.

Duckling Days was created in conjunction with UO’s Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The Duck Cup is a 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. Each team is awarded points based on each category’s criteria. Points system breakdown is listed on page 3 of the PDF version.

All-Time Duck Cup Winners

2011-12: Acrobatics & Tumbling
2010-11: Lacrosse
2009-10: Soccer
2008-09: Lacrosse

MILEY, CLAY RECOGNIZED AS TOP VOLUNTEERS
Junior Chynna Miley (WBB) and senior Michael Clay (FB) were the named the top individual O Heroes for 2011-12.

Miley, from Atlanta, Ga., earned 2,325 individual Duck Cup points for her service during the 2011-12 year. Miley participated in nearly every O Heroes event, while also serving as both a member of UO’s Black Student Union and the women’s basketball team representative for SAAC.

Clay, from San Jose, Calif., recorded 730 individual Duck Cup points in 2011-12. His efforts were focused in two main areas: mentoring fifth graders at McCornack Elementary School and spending time on a weekly basis playing games, tutoring and mentoring youth at the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Valley. In fact, Clay accumulated 133 total hours of service at the BGC last year alone. He also serves as a football team representative for SAAC.

MORE ABOUT O HEROES AND ITS NON-PROFIT STATUS
O Heroes is a philanthropic organization -- run by student-athletes -- which positively impacts Oregon, most specifically the Eugene/Springfield community. UO’s student-athletes are viewed as role models. UO Athletics is fortunate to have these young individuals not only participating in varsity athletics, but also volunteering their time in the community.

After falling under the Duck Athletic Fund non-profit umbrella for the past four years, O Heroes has begun the process for becoming its own 501(c)3 entity. This status will enable O Heroes to fundraise more aggressively as to provide greater opportunities for the Lane County communities. While the process can be time intensive, O Heroes has started the fundraising initiative through Snoball, a social media based fundraising platform, as well as with Malka Diamonds and Jewelry, who are donating 20% of sales from UO branded jewelry on game days.

O HEROES WEEKLY SERVICE ACTIVITIES
O Heroes works on a weekly basis with the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Valley and the Greenhill Humane Society.

Each Wednesday throughout the school year, O Heroes representatives mentor, play and interact with the youth from the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Valley.

Every Sunday, O Heroes spends time at Greenhill Humane Society to help walk/run dogs, play with cats and rabbits in an effort to help make them more adoptable.

O HEROES EXPANDS FUNDRAISING PLATFORM EFFORTS
O Heroes announced their partnership with Snoball, a social media-focused fundraising platform, and Malka Diamonds and Jewelry, the 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.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE TRIP REWARDING FOR DUCKS
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.

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.

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 available here.

CHECK OUT O HEROES ON SOCIAL MEDIA

For up-to-date information on all things related to O Heroes, follow on Twitter @OHeroes and like on Facebook (facebook.com/oheroes). The online home for O Heroes is goducks.com/oheroes.

O HEROES PROFILED FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE COMMUNITY
Beginning this past Spring, O Heroes profiled 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: Jessica Drummond (Lacrosse) - Jan. 24 ... Amanda Johnson (Women’s Basketball) - Feb. 1 ... James Scales (Football) - Feb. 6 ... Michael Clay (Football) - Feb. 15 ... Chynna Miley (Women’s Basketball) - Feb. 23 ... Alaina Bergsma (Volleyball) - March 1 ... Boseko Lokombo (Football) - March 7 ... Erin Block (Acro & Tumbling) - April 18 ... Trudie du Toit (Women’s Tennis) - April 25 ... Kenjon Barner (Football) - May 21. The Fall profiles will begin after the 2012-13 community service events are underway.

OREGON’S 2012-13 STUDENT ATHLETE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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.

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-Chairs: Ben DeJarnette (CC/T&F) and Lena Macomson (WTEN)
O Heroes Chairs: Lauren Plum (VB) and Maggie Kovacs (LAX)
Healthy Athletes / Sustainability Chairs: Robin Cambier (MTEN) and Sarah Andrews (T&F)
Athlete Unification: Chelsea Randel (LAX)
Campus Liaison: Julia Magdelino (A&T)
Football Liasion: Dustin Haines (FB)

O HEROES SERVICE REQUESTS

Student-athletes at the University of Oregon are committed to giving back and serving the local community. Through the O Heroes program, UO student-athletes regularly complete over 4,000 hours of service per year and serve a wide variety of schools in Lane County.

The focus of O Heroes is concentrated in three key initiatives: health, education and service. Student-athletes voluntarily fulfill many service requests from the community. However, priority is given to programs that meet the objectives of O Heroes. Sensitivity is given to student-athletes with respect to academic, competition, practice and training schedules.

Schools or organizations that would like to request the service of a student-athlete, please fill out the Online Appearance Request Form by clicking here. Or contact O Heroes Program Director Judy Sheldon.

Please note the following: Submitting a form does not guarantee the request will be fulfilled. Requests must be received at least two weeks prior to the date of activity. Requests for specific student-athletes or teams are not guaranteed. Please read the NCAA Guidelines/Restrictions prior to submitting an appearance request.

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