Check out the latest in our feature series, "Making an Impact".
Each week we'll look at a moment, personality, organization or tradition that makes Texas A&M Athletics and those support it and compete for it so special.
THE BIG EVENT
student-athletes team with fellow Aggies this weekend at The Big Event
to say "thanks" to Bryan-College Station for its unending support
Each year, the students of Texas A&M University participate in "The Big Event"--an opportunity for Aggies to say thanks to their hometown community of Bryan/College Station for its unwavering support through service projects.
From its roots 30 years ago, The Big Event has become the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation and has expanded to 110 other schools across the nation and to international schools in Spain, Australia, Germany, Pakistan and Italy.
On Saturday (March 29), over 20,000 students will flood the local community to compete nearly 2,000 jobs--performing things such as painting, yard work and cleaning.
And, as in every year where the opportunity presents itself, student-athletes will be involved.
"It makes me happy seeing the love other student-athletes have towards community service," said Kelli Benjamin, vice-president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a junior freestyler on the women's swimming and diving team. "Giving back to the 12th Man is the least we can do for all the support the Brazos Valley gives to us. For SAAC and Aggie Athletes Involved (AAI) it is our sole purpose to reach out and help these individuals who support us student-athletes, both on and off the field."
With busy athletics practice and competition schedules--especially on a weekend--not all teams are able to participate. But some have found a way to make Big Event a part of its annual tradition of community service.
Here are just a few examples:
The SEC regular-season and tournament champion soccer team will be back out supporting Big Event this weekend. As they have every year since the program's inception in 1993--save a few where spring competitions have conflicted--Texas A&M soccer will be lending a helping hand and extending their thanks to the community which has helped make Ellis Field one of the nation's greatest home-field advantages. Over half the team will be out on the town this Saturday.
And fresh off a school-record fourth-place finish last weekend at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, the women's swimming and diving team will send over 20 out on the town for the first time after the movement of NCAAs on the calendar finally freed up the weekend.
"Our team is very excited to get involved," Benjamin said. "We strive to do as many community service projects every year, and the fact that we get to give back, plus be a part of this amazing A&M tradition, makes it all worth it."
In the midst of spring practice, the football team will take time Saturday to once again lend a helping hand to Twin City Mission. This year the Aggies will help out at a homeless shelter in Bryan.
Athletics' participation in Big Event is a great reminder that our student-athletes are Aggies, and students, first--and their appreciation for the support given by this community is very deep.
To learn more about The Big Event, visit them online at bigevent.tamu.edu.