March 29, 2006
BOSTON, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's basketball team has been selected as the winner of the Women's Final Four Community Outreach Partnership Award for its outstanding community outreach efforts in association with the 2006 Women's Final Four, as announced by the Boston Local Organizing Committee this week.
Holy Cross is being recognized for its annual work with the Mercy Centre, which is a private day school located in Worcester, Mass., that services students ages 6-22 with special needs and is run by Catholic charities of Worcester County. Each year, the team makes several trips to the school to visit the children, hold basketball clinics, and participate in an annual game with the Mercy Centre students.
"This is a tremendous honor for our basketball program, and in many ways, it is more meaningful than any championship that we could earn," said Holy Cross head coach Bill Gibbons. "Our mission statement at Holy Cross is to be `men and women for others,' and our work with the Mercy Centre and other schools and children in Central Massachusetts is just one way of putting that statement into action."
In total, the Boston Local Organizing Committee's Community Outreach initiative resulted in over 1,200 children being positively impacted. More than 50 colleges in Massachusetts participated in the outreach program, but the Crusaders are being recognized as the benchmark of the Organization's efforts for having a preeminent partnership with a non-profit organization. Holy Cross' work with the Mercy Centre exemplifies the impact women's basketball programs can have on their surrounding communities.
In recognition of Holy Cross' contributions to the community, the Boston Celtics have donated a two-hour Open Gym time in the Celtics' Sports Authority Training Center. Additionally, the Mercy Centre will receive 30 passes to the interactive "Hoop City" experience during the Final Four as well as basketballs provided by Wilson.