The Glen Cove High School lacrosse team took first place at a recent awards banquet, receiving a $3,000 L.I. Holiday Sports Heroes Video Challenge Grant from the W20 Foundation’s Project Team Up 4 Community (TU4C).
Recognizing that community service helps promote responsibility and character in young people, TU4C held its first annual L.I. Sports Impact Awards banquet on May 25, at the Fox Hollow in Woodbury. This unique event honored two Long Island athletes, NHL Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine and former 12-year NHL defensemen Mike Komiserak.
New York Islanders alumni were also in attendance—including Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, Benoit Hogue, Shawn Bates, Marty Reasoner and Eric Cairns—to assist in presenting the youth athletes with their awards.
The other recipients of L.I. Holiday Sports Heroes Video Challenge grants were Hicksville Middle School in second place and Longwood High School Cheer team in third place. The recipients of the L.I. Spring Sports Heroes Video Challenge Grants were Valley Stream High School Physical Education Club in first place, 2nd Place-Long Island Lutheran varsity football in second place and Islip High School wrestling program in third place. The Female Community Service Athlete of the Year was 11th-grader Mary Kate Whelan from Ward Melville High School and the Male Community Service Athlete of the Year was eighth-grader Ridjkaard Victor from St. Patrick’s School in Huntington.
The Glen Cove lacrosse athletes submitted a video highlighting the way they have given back to the community, including visiting elementary schools and hosting free lacrosse clinics. The athletes and coaches were interviewed by representatives from the W20 Foundation’s Team Up 4 Community program following their first-place win in the organization’s Long Island Holiday Heroes Community Service Challenge.
During the interview, the student-athlete volunteers were asked to reflect on the experience they had while instructing local youth how to play lacrosse. A video of the interviews was shown at the organization’s year-end banquet.
Founded on Long Island in 2007 by former NY Islander Steve Webb, the W20 Foundation is committed to creating an environment where youth athletes and others want to partake in community service and surround themselves with other like-minded, positive people who care about social responsibility. In 2011, the foundation launched the TU4C Project. TU4C engages and empowers youth athletes and others to initiate community service projects through its online challenges.
The platform also provides them with an interactive set of resources to advocate and promote their social responsibility amongst their peers, family, schools, organizations and communities. TU4C serves as a central hub and a launching pad to help develop new programs to meet athletes, organizations, and community needs.
For the 2015-16 school year, TU4C encouraged Long Island youth athletes to take part in community service and participate in the Largest Sports Giveback Challenge. The challenge started on Sept. 1, 2015 and will end on June 30.
This year alone the TU4C Project engaged more than 18,000 athletes in 354 projects and 61,509 hours of community service. This is an estimated economic impact of $446,131 and the challenge is still running.
To participate, Long Island athletes, teams and organizations involving athletes, took part in any community service project they chose and shared it on
To engage participation throughout the year, a winner is selected each month from the community service projects entered to receive a prize or giveaway.
During the 2015 holiday season and the spring of this year, student athletes uploaded a community service project to the website with a video and details of their work for a chance to receive a scholarship or grant.
“By having the athletes share their work, we are creating a ripple effect of social responsibility across the island,” said Webb.