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  November 17, 2003

Student-Athletes' Coat Drive
Nets Windfall For State's Needy

For the past three years, UConn's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has organized a coat drive to help Connecticut's needy during the winter and holiday seasons. But the student-athletes weren't prepared for the size of the windfall that came their way this year.

On a cold, windblown November 8, during the UConn football team's come-from-behind win over Rutgers, the SAAC collected more than 2,000 winter coats and jackets at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The coat drive is held in conjunction with the 10th annual Button Up Connecticut Coat Drive.

The 2,000 coats and jackets collected during Saturday's drive represented a huge increase from last year's numbers, when UConn's effort produced 150 coats.

"Community service is a critical element of the student-athlete experience," said Jeffrey Hathaway, UConn's athletic director. "We're immensely proud of our student-athletes' volunteer work and the contribution they make to improving quality of life for some of Connecticut's neediest citizens."

On November 3, during a men's basketball exhibition game, and on November 8, during a women's basketball exhibition game, groups of student-athletes also collected non-perishable food items at the main entrances of the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion to benefit the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic.