Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
Defensive lineman Leterrius Walton speaks with a Maplewood resident during an ice cream social last Friday. The Chippewas volunteered their time and energy over the course of last week to several different organizations, participating in a variety of activities.
CMU Football Gives Back to Community with Week of Service Activities
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Last week, the Central Michigan football program dedicated itself to giving back to the community that provides it with so much support by taking part in numerous service activities throughout Mount Pleasant.

With spring football concluded and final exams and the end of the school year rapidly approaching, the Chippewas volunteered their time and energy over the course of the week to several different organizations, participating in a variety of activities. Divided by position groups, CMU players took the community to lend a hand or brighten a day.

“Upon the completion of organizing the community service events, coach Mose Rison, a former CMU player, reminded me how seldom in life we have an opportunity to make others smile,” said linebacker Shamari Benton, the chief coordinator of the week of activities. “As a student-athlete, we often take for granted the support we receive and forget about those who are hidden advocates of our program. It was truly a group effort in organizing the several service events and I was fortunate to work with people who are just as passionate about helping others. Our program is a reflection of the Mount Pleasant community which is one of pride and diligence and anytime we can make someone smile we have indeed served them well.”

Just one day after the Spring Game, on Sunday, April 14, a group of defensive backs were back in action, this time bowling with Special Olympics athletes. The players bowled a few games, taking some time to also visit and take photos with the athletes in between frames.

On Monday afternoon, the wide receivers visited Mary McGuire Elementary School to play with a group of children. The pass catchers did some warm-up activities with the kids and then played games, including basketball and tee ball.

On Friday, the defensive lineman joined residents of Maplewood Assisted Living Facility for an ice cream social. The players shared conversation with the residents while enjoying bowls of ice cream. 

Saturday was a busy day for the Chippewas, as three position groups were out in the community. In the morning, a group of defensive backs and the special teamers volunteered at the Sacred Heart Food Pantry while the tight ends were up early to prepare meals at the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen.

In the evening, the quarterbacks and running backs ran a punt, pass, and kick competition as part of the Relay for Life event that was taking place in the IAC. The players measured the distances of the attempts of the competitors and lent encouragement and instruction. A few Chippewas, including Anthony Garland, Tim Phillips, and Zurlon Tipton, even tried their hand at the three skills.  
On Sunday, the linebackers spent the morning at the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen, washing vegetables, peeling potatoes, and plating desserts, among other tasks, in preparation for lunch. At the same time, the offensive linemen were at the IAC, helping to tear down and clean up after the conclusion of the Relay for Life event.

Each of the service activities that the football team was involved in was organized through C.A.R.E. (Central Athletes Reaching Everyone), a program that coordinates community appearances for each of CMU's sports.