Monday August 15th was no ordinary day for Forester football players. As a part of fall camp each year players give back to society in a day of service. This year, players divided into three groups and set out to improve the community in different ways and learn about teamwork off the field. Tasks varied from moving boxes to painting classrooms, pulling weeds or even measuring thirteen foot snakes.
Elawa Farms (http://www.elawafarm.org/), a local community farm, welcomed fifteen Foresters. The group began by learning a little history about the farm and then they divided and conquered the tasks they were given. The first group took their shovels and began digging and trenching a portion of the garden. Another group weeded a section of the garden. Two seniors, Gilbert Munoz and Casey Flynn, got a chance to work inside the bobcat cage, pulling weeds and watching feeding time. Later, they also got the chance to lift a two hundred and twenty five pound alligator snapping turtle and proved that Foresters really go “Beyond Measure” while measuring a thirteen foot python.
The second group of Foresters spent their day at CROYA (http://www.croya.com/), the local youth center that caters to middle school, high school, and college students. The players helped clean and set up the concert stage where local bands perform. Others touched up the paint in the CROYA center. The last group sang along to “Party in the USA” while washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Some of the guys even got to play plumbers and fixed a leaky pipe. The students got to be teachers at the end of the afternoon by teaching sophomore Rocky Al-Mutawa to play Bozo Buckets with the wash bins.
The final seventeen Forester football players pitched in at South School, a local North Chicago grade school. Players moved boxes, furniture, and AV equipment under the supervision of Coach Parker. The guys got to show off their artistic skills while painting hallways, and the office.
A fun time was had by all on Forest Football Service Day 2011. Each player walked away with a new skill or better sense of teamwork after a long hard day of volunteering. As a reward for their efforts, Coach Catanzaro, took the team off-campus for dinner at Bertucci's Italian Steakhouse in Highwood, IL. Bruce Bertucci, who has been a long time fan of the college and the football program, was a gracious host. The Foresters dined on multiple pasta dishes, chicken marsala, fresh steamed vegetables, salad, bread, and ice cream It was a great reward for a hard day of working in the community.