Baseball team learns valuable lessons by helping to feed the area's hungry
November 24, 2009
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
There are lessons you learn in a classroom and lessons you learn outside of school.
Both are equally important to Benedictine University baseball coach John Ostrowski.
For the past several years, members of Benedictine University’s baseball team have participated in the Woodridge Community Pantry’s “Harvest Sunday,” loading and unloading food collected from the Pantry’s volunteers and donor organizations throughout the community.
On Sunday, November 8, more than 40 members of the baseball team participated in “Harvest Sunday,” learning lessons about caring, sharing and community that cannot be easily taught in the classroom or on the ball field.
“This program really shows the team a lot,” said Kevin Ross, a senior from Lake Zurich and captain of the Benedictine University baseball team. “Seeing the number of people who volunteer to do this, seeing the community come together to collect all this food. It’s amazing.”
The Woodridge Community Pantry seeks to eradicate hunger within families and individuals in the Woodridge area, and to serve other unmet human needs of the community The Pantry serves more than 4,000 local residents per month and provides free breakfasts for 882 students in District 68 each school day throughout the year.
Benedictine student-athletes helped unload food collected at both the Woodridge Community Pantry and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Naperville. After the food was sorted and boxed, the ballplayers reloaded the food onto trucks which transported the donated items to a central warehouse.
“The Benedictine baseball team has been helping us with ‘Harvest Sunday’ for a number of years,” said Woodridge Community Pantry director of operations Roger R. Schmith. “We look forward to their help because they’re energetic, and the work gets done quickly.
“We collected 8,000 pound of food and they unloaded most of it,” he added. “It’s so good to see young people giving their time, particularly in service to the local community. It’s a sign of their commitment to the community and those in need.”
The young Benedictine men will continue to demonstrate their commitment as long as there is need in the community.
“These young men are blessed with many great gifts athletically and with the chance to attend a great university,” Ostrowski said. “We want them to realize that giving back in some way, whether it’s by their time or talents, is very important to do as a responsible community member.”
By giving back, the ballplayers also get something back in return.
“I really feel that this event brings us closer as a team,” Ross said.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.