Wake Forest Athletic Staff Participates in Day of Service
Athletic Director Ron Wellman paints a wall at the Prosperity Center in Winston-Salem

May 19, 2011

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - More than 100 Wake Forest athletic department staff members spread out across Winston-Salem Wednesday to give back to the community in the department's first annual Day of Service.

The 102 staff members from various areas of the department were split up into four different groups to perform various community service projects at the Winston-Salem Children's Center, the Experiment in Self Reliance Center, the Prosperity Center and the Group Homes of Forsyth County

The group at the Children's Center, which included field hockey coach Jennifer Averill and assistant men's basketball coach Rusty LaRue, worked in the facility's gardens, raking leaves, pulling weeds and pruning plants. The Children's Center serves children from birth through the fifth grade who have developmental delays or long-term chronic health problems. The center offers a regular day school as well as speech, occupational and physical therapy.

"We love to engage the community because they get to see firsthand what we do here. I am so thankful to the team from Wake Forest for the help that they gave us today," said Denni Peebles, director of development for the Children's Center. "They destroyed all of the weeds in our garden and raked out all of the leaves, leaving everything ready for us to amend the soil and replant."

At the Prosperity Center, a team that included athletic director Ron Wellman painted four offices, a computer lab and a multipurpose room. The Prosperity Center is a non-profit United Way collaborative between Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, Credit Counseling Service of Forsyth County and Experiment in Self Reliance that provides job search assistance, money management training and tax preparation assistance to individuals.

The team at the Experiment in Self Reliance Center, which included director of track and field and cross country John Millar and assistant men's basketball coach Jeff Battle, painted three offices and constructed shelving for the organization's panty. ESR's mission is to help "working low-income and chronically homeless" individuals and families move towards a life of self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

The fourth Wake Forest team, which included men's basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik and his wife Nina, worked with the Group Homes of Forsyth County to prepare an office complex for conversion to a group home. The Demon Deacon staffers moved furniture, sorted through a number of files, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms and washed seven vans belonging to the organization. The building will serve as the home to four adults with developmental disabilities who will be able to live together self-sufficiently.

The Day of Service was organized by the Wake Forest athletic department's Staff Advisory Council.

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