This is quickly becoming one of our favorite traditions.
That was the thinking Friday morning at the I Can Still Shine program, where the Penn State Alumni Association partnered with the University of Memphis Alumni Association to give back to the local community.
Nearly 100 volunteers from the two alumni associations painted walls, built shelves, organized clothes, and jumped in anytime something was needed. You can check out some photos here that showcase the spirit of volunteerism, as The Football Letter photographer Steve Manuel ’82, ’92g was on-hand to provide his usual great photos.
It’s the third straight year we’ve partnered with the opposing team’s alumni association at the bowl for a community service project, and it’s a good reminder that alumni and fans can make an impact beyond the field.
We all know Saturday’s game is important, and folks from both sides spoke proudly about their Universities and alumni, and how much fun their seasons have been. We enjoyed meeting Memphis alumni and fans, and some of our colleagues at their alumni association. And the program’s founder, Brenda Jackson, shared how the program supports battered women and their children. It’s an inspiring story, and we hope we helped in some small way.
Each alumni base provided plenty of volunteers, and you can hear from Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford and Memphis’ director, Kristie Goldsmith, on our Facebook page.
“Memphis is about giving back, and we love to do this type of volunteer work,” Goldsmith said, as volunteers hammered away and continued with the service.
That selfless mindset was present on both sides, with our North Texas Chapter onsite, too. Vice President Kurt Heinemann ’98 was busy all morning, moving from one side of the building to the other, helping with various projects.
As you can imagine, he and the chapter are excited for the game, and really, for all week. “As I tell my friends, my family is coming down to visit me this time,” Heinemann said, smiling, and he added the chapter will host an event tonight in Dallas.
Just one of many examples of Penn Staters coming together this week. And sometimes, we even include some Tigers.
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