Hartford, Conn. - On the first weekend after classes began at Trinity College, nearly 400 Bantam student-athletes went out into the Hartford community, along with several other college groups, and volunteered to work at locations like parks, schools, and churches for "Do It Day." This annual event gives Trinity students the opportunity to give back and show appreciation for both the local Hartford and greater Connecticut communities. By coming together as a college community, the experience truly exemplifies the unity in the area.
The Trinity College swimming and diving teams helped clean up Keney Park in Hartford's North End. "Every year the team goes into this event not knowing what to expect," said men's senior co-captainJohn Dolan. "We understand the expectation, but not necessarily the impact we have. Arriving at Keney Park, the space we were about to work with was unrecognizable as to what it would become in the few hours we worked there. It may not seem like much, weeding, mulching and raking, but this is a task that overwhelms the undermanned and underfunded staff at Keney Park. I really felt, after talking with the park staff, that we had made their lives a bit easier and, in turn, had contributed to both their park and our community. This is just one of those unique opportunities you get to experience as a student-athlete at Trinity.
Bantam senior women's diving captain Bailey D'Antonio added, "Applying our team values of hard work and positivity in the community of Hartford is a prime example of how formative the student-athlete experience can be. It is amazing to see what can be accomplished in the community when a team tackles a project for just one day."
The Bantam women's squash players helped clean up Trinity's Cinestudio, a historic movie theater right on campus. "The director of Cinestudio was very appreciative and was amazed at the transformation since it hadn't been cleaned since the spring," noted Head Coach Wendy Bartlett. "He said now Cinestudio could be opened due to our efforts which made us feel that we had accomplished something good".
Members of the Trinity women's basketball team were able to interact with Hartford kids at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art for their Do It Day experience. "Volunteering at the Wadsworth Museum was something of an eye-opening experience for a lot of us," said senior co-captain Emily Llerena. "We got to directly interact with Hartford families, do crafts with kids, and see some really great art. We got to get into the community first-hand, and it was great to develop relationships that go beyond Trinity's campus."
Do It Day is the perfect way for first-year student-athletes to be introduced to the city of Hartford and what the day-to-day life is really like for its residents. It also allows them to see what a difference Trinity students can make in the community both on one Saturday in the fall and, hopefully, throughout their four years of college.
"Choosing Trinity College for a liberal arts institution for me did not stop in the classroom," said Trinity men's swimming rookie Will Wynne. "Being able to give back to the community made me feel as if I was able to further my diversified education outside the classroom. Being with the team and representing Trinity made the experience whole."
Bantam women's swimming and diving first-year Emily Louie encapsulated what Do It Day is all about when looking back on her first experience with this opportunity to give back to the Hartford community. "Do It Day was an amazing opportunity for us to help the community around us while also being able to spend quality time with the team," she said.
Trinity Men's Ice Hockey Coach Matt Greason, whose team volunteered at both the Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation and Christ Church Cathedral, summed up the experience: "Do it Day is a great way for our student-athletes to give back to the community. We always look forward to this chance to do our part."
Swimming (Men and Women)- Keney Park
Lacrosse (Men): Habitat for Humanity ReStore (12 or so) and Pope Park (rest of the team)
Lacrosse (Women): Pope Park
Ice Hockey (Women): Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker
Ice Hockey (Men)- Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation, Christ Church Cathedral
Squash (Women)- Cinestudio
Squash (Men): Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance and South Park Inn
Wrestling- Trinity Episcopal Church, A Hand Up
Basketball (Men): Pope Park
Basketball (Women): Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Baseball: Hartford Downtown Business Improvement District
Rowing (Men): Jewish Community Center—Camp Shalom
Rowing (Women): Church of the Good Shepherd
Tennis (Men): Bushnell Park
Tennis (Women): Elizabeth Park