Community Enrichment Programs
|Horns for Hope is the umbrella moniker for all community enrichment activities supported by UT Athletics. Among these activities are University initiatives such as Orange Santa and Longhorn Halloween; hospital visits by student-athletes; and the use of athletics events in order to collect canned foods and school supplies, demonstrate appreciation for service men and women, and raise breast cancer awareness. The breast cancer initiatives are highlighted by Volley for the Cure (Volleyball), Kick for a Cure (Soccer), the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's (WBCA) Pink Zone™ and Pink at the Plate (Softball). Fans are a part of Horns for Hope when they choose to participate in these special events and support our student-athletes.
• How Student-Athletes Participate: Community Service Headlines
Bevo's Buddies is a complimentary ticket program designed exclusively for Texas-designated Title I elementary and middle schools and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that work with physically or intellectually challenged individuals or underprivileged youth. The program currently provides ticket vouchers for over 35 Title I schools and non-profit organizations. For more information about Bevo's Buddies, contact Brandi Martinez at email@example.com.
UT Athletics hosts canned food drives benefitting the Austin community at various athletic events each year. By offering free or discounted tickets, apparel or premium items to fans, the department has been able to collect in excess of 12,000 lbs. of food over the past three years. The current record is the more than 1,900 lbs. collected at Texas Baseball vs. Texas Tech game on March 28, 2009. Check Bevo's Bargains for upcoming canned food drive events. For more information, contact Trinity Gibbons at Trinity.Gibbons@athletics.utexas.edu.
• Photo gallery: Football -- 2012
• Photo gallery: Volleyball -- 2009 | 2008
• Photo gallery: Women's Basketball -- 2010 | 2009
The University of Texas has long been recognized as a leader in health promotion. UT Athletics is committed to raising public awareness regarding cancer through its high profile sports programs. Examples of home events promoting cancer awareness include "Volley for a Cure" at Texas Volleyball, “Kick for a Cure” at Texas Soccer, the "Shoot for a Cure" at Texas Women's Basketball, and “Pink at the Plate” at Texas Softball. Working with the Central Texas and campus communities, we look to provide a unique experience that unites all Longhorns together in support of a cause. For more information about these events, contact Charles Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Photo gallery: 2009 | 2008
Longhorn Halloween is a fun and safe Halloween program put on by The University of Texas for the children of UT staff, faculty and students at the Frank Erwin Center. Admission is free and the festival features activities such as games, carnival events, a haunted house, face painting, fortune telling, chemistry circus, fire safety programs and more. UT Athletics partners with Longhorn Halloween each fall to provide candy and prizes to attendees. The UT Athletics' booth is staffed by a variety of student-athletes from different sports who play games with the children, pass out candy and take photos. The student-athlete's role in Longhorn Halloween is just one of many ways they give back to the UT community.
• Photo gallery: 2009 | 2008
The University of Texas Athletics Department plays host to the Marathon Kids Kick-Off Celebration at Mike A. Myers Stadium each year. The Kick-Off Celebration is the first day of the free nationally-recognized fitness and nutrition program for Central Texas youths.
The free Marathon Kids six-month program is presented in the Austin area to public and private school districts and home-schooled children by Whole Foods Market. The students, kindergarten through fifth grade, participate in a five-month, incremental 26.2 mile run, which is the equivalent of a marathon. In addition to learning the benefits of physical fitness, the Marathon Kids program is designed to get parents and guardians involved with their children, encouraging them to achieve the Marathon Kids' goals.
Texas Women's Track and Field head coach Bev Kearney has been involved with the Marathon Kids project since its infancy, and is responsible for the event taking place on the UT campus. Hundreds of UT Athletics staff, coaches and student-athletes volunteer their time at the Kick-Off Celebration each year.
Marathon Kids began in Austin as a grassroots initiative, and the program is now also in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Texas' Rio Grande Valley. There are over 123,000 K-5th graders participating in the nationally-recognized free program. There are 294 towns and cities on the Marathon Kids' waiting list, as well as 14 foreign countries.
NEIGHBORHOOD LONGHORNS PROGRAM
The Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP) is an educational incentive program operated by The University of Texas in partnership with the Austin Independent School District. The NLP uses support mechanisms that encourage and value elementary and middle school students' personal development and inspire their desire to pursue higher learning through exposure to the college experience. UT Athletics is committed to enriching the Neighborhood Longhorns Program in numerous ways and through a variety of programs, some of which are listed below. For more information, visit the Neighborhood Longhorns Program.
Annual Neighborhood Longhorns Program Tribute Dinner and Celebrity Golf Classic
• Photo gallery: 2009 NAPA Celebrity Golf Classic benefitting Neighborhood Longhorns (June 11, 2009)
Each year, The University of Texas Athletics Department coaches and staff team up with the Neighborhood Longhorns Program to host the tribute dinner and golf tournament. The dinner features a silent auction while the golf tournament features 40 celebrity players, including UT head coaches. All proceeds benefit the Neighborhood Longhorns Program and, in turn, the more than 5,500 area youth in the program.
Visit the Annual Tribute Dinner and Celebrity Golf Classic website or contact the Neighborhood Longhorns Program at (512) 232-4650 for more information. The 2011 event is scheduled for June 8-9.
Augie's Grand Slam Reading Program
Making its original appearance in 1997 as Bevo's Grand Slam Reading Program, this incentive-based reading program returned in 2009 with a new name and extra benefits. Augie's Grand Slam Reading Program encourages children to read five books and document their progress on a special bookmark provided to teachers in more than 30 schools under the Neighborhood Longhorns umbrella. Once a student's bookmark is filled with five book titles, it is authorized by the teacher and the student is presented with a voucher for free admission to select Texas Baseball home games. In addition to earning vouchers for free admission, the Neighborhood Longhorns and Texas Baseball team up to recognize students excelling in the reading program by inviting them to take the field for the national anthem with the Longhorns during select Texas Baseball home games.
"We are so excited to have Augie's Grand Slam Reading Program for our Neighborhood Longhorns Program participants," said Celina Ruiz-Snowden, executive director of the Neighborhood Longhorns Program. "Coach Garrido's reading program has evolved from 500 NLP participants in 1997 to over 5,000 current NLP students. We appreciate Augie and his continued effort to promote reading and the Neighborhood Longhorns Program."
For more information about Augie's Grand Slam Reading Program, contact Trinity Gibbons at Trinity.Gibbons@athletics.utexas.edu.
Dine with a Coach
Every Spring, UT Athletics partners with The Neighborhood Longhorns Program in a unique fundraising opportunity called Dine With A Coach. Hosted in the Red McCombs Red Zone at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, this special event gives attendees the opportunity to mix and mingle with their favorite UT Coaches. Dine with a Coach is the Neighborhood Longhorns signature fundraising. Limited seats are available for this event. Visit the Neighborhood Longhorns Program Dine with a Coach for more information.
LEADing off with Coach Clark
Connie Clark and Texas Softball initiated the LEADing off with Coach Clark during the 2009 season. Clark's incentive-based program is centered around the D.I.R.T. leadership philosophy. D.I.R.T is an acronym that stands for Discipline, Integrity, Respect and Teamwork and represents the philosophy that Clark has instilled in her Longhorns for years. The program encourages children in more than 30 AISD schools under the Neighborhood Longhorns umbrella to demonstrate leadership qualities in the classroom. Once students have exhibited the four leadership traits that define D.I.R.T., they are presented with a voucher for free admission to select Texas Softball home games.
"We thought it would really fire up the younger kids to know what we as a team talk about every day," Clark said. "D.I.R.T. is the glue that keeps the team together. It is at the center of what we teach and live by. Each letter represents a key component to the philosophy, and leaders are those who represent each element exceptionally well."
For more information about LEADing off with Coach Clark, contact Trinity Gibbons at Trinity.Gibbons@athletics.utexas.edu.
UFCU Neighborhood Longhorns Math Challenge Kick-Off
Since 2008, Texas Soccer has teamed up with Neighborhood Longhorns to combine the sport of soccer with the Neighborhood Longhorns Math Challenge program. The Kick-Off is the official opening ceremony for involvement in the Math Challenge program. The Kick-Off engages students to complete soccer skill stations and solve math problems related to the Texas Soccer team. Funded through corporate contributions from University Federal Credit Union, the Math Challenge program assists students with mathematics skills and performance. The services of this program are offered to all participating Neighborhood Longhorns Program schools.
For more information about the UFCU Neighborhood Longhorns Math Challenge Kick-Off, contact Trinity Gibbons at Trinity.Gibbons@athletics.utexas.edu. For more information on the Math Challenge program, contact the Neighborhood Longhorns Program at (512) 232-4650.
Whataburger "Bring Home the W"
The University of Texas has teamed up with Whataburger to "Bring Home the W" in support of Austin students participating in the Neighborhood Longhorns Program. As part of the program, Whataburger donates to the NLP scholarship fund each time the Texas Longhorns win a football or men's or women's basketball games. Since 1991, the Neighborhood Longhorns have awarded student participants with approximately $500,000 in scholarships. UT Athletics recognizes Whataburger and Neighborhood Longhorn participants during various athletic events throughout the year. The partnership allows UT Athletics to proudly teach that winning in the classroom is just as important as winning on the field or court.
"We know how important UT athletics are to this community, and when they win, everybody wins with the NLP-Whataburger partnership," said Patricia Russey, director of operations for Whataburger Restaurants, LP.
For more information about Whataburger's "Bring Home the W" program, contact Eryn McMahan with IMG College/Longhorns Sports Network at email@example.com.
UT Athletics gives back each year to the Orange Santa program, sponsored by the Office of the President, that began in 1994. The goal of the program is to foster a more caring campus environment by providing help for members of community who have special needs during the holiday season.
The Orange Santa program opens a holiday store in Bellmont Hall that provides an opportunity for eligible UT faculty and staff to "shop" for gifts and toys for children in their immediate family. The store is stocked with items contributed through campus-wide donation drives as well as items collected at special events.
Playing its part in the program, each year UT Athletics offers vouchers for free admission to fans who donate new, unwrapped toys at select volleyball and Men's and Women's Basketball games. Student-athletes are enlisted to collect the toys and distribute vouchers at the games. In addition, various coaches donate items such as basketballs, T-shirts and other sports equipment.
Student-athletes get involved each year by participating in a donation drive coordinated by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). The teams collect money from student-athletes to go towards gift purchases and members of the teams go shopping for the gifts. The donation drive benefits the Orange Santa program, but it also is a great team building activity for the student-athletes and often turns into a competition between teams to raise the most money.
"The Orange Santa program really puts it all into perspective. You find yourself getting so wrapped up in your world, in your sport and your school work, and you need things to bring you back to reality and to the 'big picture," said former volleyball player Michelle Moriarty, "As a university, UT does so much for the student-athletes. It's great to give back in some way whenever we can."
Check Bevo's Bargains for upcoming Orange Santa collection dates at Texas Volleyball and Men's and Women's Basketball games. For more information, contact Trinity Gibbons at Trinity.Gibbons@athletics.utexas.edu.