Dec. 14, 2007
Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of snow, the holiday season has in fact found its way to Tallahassee and onto the campus of Florida State. Just as the fog was starting to fade the morning of Dec. 14th, members of the Seminole men’s and women’s track teams gathered at Mike Long Track for what has become a very special annual team tradition.
For the third consecutive year, the team joined forces with the Salvation Army to provide one local family with a very special Christmas. The charity offers a chance for those with a big heart and caring spirit the opportunity to “adopt” a family in need of a little extra support during the holiday season.
This year, the track team’s “adopted” family consisted of two parents and five children ages four to 18–three of their own plus two nieces the family graciously took in after their parents passed away. Officers from the Salvation Army provided the team members and coaches with a wish list for their family. Most of the items on the list were much-needed essentials, like clothes and cleaning supplies, but the kids did mention a few fun items like a CD player, art supplies, and a football.
The team set a goal to raise $300 to spend on their “adopted” family and through two weeks of team and coach donations, they not only met but exceeded that goal.
Senior Kandia Batchelor, a 2007 finalist for the John Wooden Cup for academics and community service, was given the responsibility of taking the money raised by the team to purchase and wrap the items on the family’s wish list.
A representative from the Salvation Army arrived at the track early Friday morning to pick up the two heaping boxes of colorfully wrapped gifts to be delivered to the deserving family. Batchelor and several teammates helped load the presents, knowing their efforts to continue this annual tradition would make this Christmas a very special occasion for one local family.