Athletes scoring off the field

John Tyson and UofA athletes at the 2011 Lift Up America donation

                                                                                                                                            Photo: Wesley Hitt, University of Arkansas

If you pay attention to some of the news reporting on the out-of-competition activities of college and professional athletes, you might be led to believe that most are less than model citizens.  With few exceptions (often too visible), that’s just not true.

What’s often left underreported is the fact that the vast majority are high-character people, working to make a difference in their schools and communties.

We’ve certainly seen evidence of that as we’ve gone out in the past seven years to make food donations with our friends at Lift Up America, in cooperation with college and pro teams across the country. 

One of the best examples has been at the University of Arkansas, where more than 120 athletes showed up last Saturday morning (long before most college kids are accustomed to waking on Saturday) to help distibute 30,000 pounds of food to agencies of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.  This was the fifth year of the event, and each year UofA Student Life Coordinator, Rodger Hunter outdoes himself in getting athletes involved in this effort to benefit the community.

Tyson Foods chairman, John Tyson joined UofA Athletic Director, Jeff Long; Dave Hannah, founder of Lift Up America; and Marge Wolf E.D. of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank in kicking off the event.

It was amazing (and quite fun!)  to watch a 30,000 lb. truckload of food get loaded into the vehicles of the foodbank’s agencies in less than thirty minutes.  You don’t really need forklifts when you have 120 young, in-shape, and energetic athletes putting the food where’s it’s going to do a lot of good? !