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Community service is an important part of a Lakeland College education. From the first weekend students are on campus as freshmen, they spend countless hours taking advantage of community service opportunities both on and off campus.
New Lakeland women's basketball coach Lindsey VandeHoef and several members of the team recently spent a day cleaning up the nature trail at the Indian Mound Nature Trail and doing some beach clean-up along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The Volunteer Center of Sheboygan County connected Lakeland to Indian Mound, which needed some help due to cutbacks of staff in the Department of Parks and Recreation. The Volunteer Center's mission is to mobilize people and resources to help improve the quality of life for people within Sheboygan County.
"Thanks to the Lakeland women's basketball team and others who have helped, the community can enjoy the parks," said Rachel Rupnik, volunteer recruiter & coordinator with the Volunteer Center.
VandeHoef said assistant coach KC Blahnik was instrumental in getting this opportunity together. "KC was here last year and has been a great help getting everything organized," VandeHoef said. "She knew who to contact and was able to get us to where we needed to be."
VandeHoef understands the importance of connecting with the greater community. As part of her coaching philosophy, she believes that her team should play an active role in the community and that charity work is an important aspect of life.
"The girls understand we will always give back," said VandeHoef. "It's about more than just basketball. I want to be able to give back in any way we can. I was very proud of the girls that came out and put forth the effort."
Overall, it was a good experience for the athletes, who spent some time together off the court to grow as a team.
The program will continue to be active in the community, finding new and inventive ways to lend a hand to the Sheboygan area.