Aug. 22, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- As the upcoming school year approaches, University of Wisconsin student-athletes took a break from their own preparation to help local youth get ready to head back to school.
Seven student-athletes handed out more than 1,600 backpacks filled with school supplies to Madison youth at the 100 Black Men of Madison's annual Backpacks for Success Back-to-School Picnic last Saturday at Demetral Park in Madison.
The 100 Black Men organization exists to improve the quality of life within the local community and to enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.
UW deputy athletic director Sean Frazier is heavily involved in the organization and helped bring the Backpacks for Success Banquet to the Kohl Center on Aug. 15. The banquet helped to raise funds to purchase the back-to-school items handed out at the picnic. Frazier is thankful for his colleagues' support of his efforts.
"I feel honored to work in an environment that supports such genuine kindness," Frazier said.
Warren Herring of the UW football team was equally honored to volunteer at the event where those supplies were distributed to those who need them.
"It meant a lot to me to know that I could help serve children that look up to us," he said.
For Herring and teammates David Gilbert and Josh Harrison, the event was a welcomed break in a hectic preeason camp schedule.
"I've always liked the quote, `Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart,'" Herring said. "Today was about heart."
Along with the three members of the football team, track and field athletes Japheth Cato, Deanna Latham and Lavinia Jurkiewicz and rower Lauren Steavpack also participated in the backpack distribution.