Tropical Storm Irene Recovery Effort
UVM Student-Athletes Pitch in with Flood Relief Efforts in Vermont
- By Lisa A. Champagne
On Oct. 2, 95 student-athletes from 11 different teams at the University of Vermont traveled to the central part of the state to lend a hand in the flood relief efforts that continue more than a month after Hurricane Irene devastated towns throughout Vermont.
Cathy Rahill, Coordinator of Student-Athlete Development at UVM, organized the flood relief effort in conjunction with UVM's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (S.A.A.C.). Rahill worked with the Mad River Valley Flood Volunteers to coordinate projects.
“The UVM student-athlete volunteer effort was spawned at our first Student-Athlete Advisory Council meeting in September," said Rahill.
"We wanted to help out because we feel that UVM athletics is more than just our own little bubble. We are part of the community, which encompasses the entire state. The storm devastated the community and we wanted to help those in need and let them know that people are still thinking of them," said Chris Lemiuex, the chair of UVM's Student-Athlete Advisory Council and a senior on the men's track and field team.
The UVM student-athletes helped in a variety of projects. They assisted at homes and apartment complexes in Moretown and Rochester helping residents clean up their homes by shoveling mud, taking down sheet rock and hauling plaster.
The student-athletes also helped clear debris along the Mad River in Waitsfield and also the White River and the White River Golf Course in Rochester. A third group helped perform some cleanup at Neilla's Farm in Waitsfield and CrossHaven Farm in Moretown.
"This was an awesome experience," said Morgan Albert, a junior on the UVM women's basketball team. "We were blessed and fortunate to not be affected as badly in the Burlington area and we wanted to help those who were affected and show our support for the state of Vermont. These same Vermonters show support for us in so many ways, we wanted to give back."
"The people were extremely appreciative of us. As our bus drove through the town, people who we didn't even help waved to us, showing their gratitude even though they are still without homes, food and other necessities. I was proud to have been part of this project," said Lemieux.