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Miami athletes serve beyond the game

04/19/2012

Miami goaltender Cody Reichard and a friend participate in Swoop's Stoop.
Miami University senior goaltender Cody Reichard will leave Miami with a remarkable career. As a sophomore in 2010 he was named CCHA player of the year. He had 53 career wins, 12 of which were shutouts, tying for second in number of shutouts in school history.

But the legacy he leaves at Miami goes beyond school records.

In 2010, Reichard founded Swoop’s Stoop, a charitable program whose mission is to provide children facing life-changing illnesses with life-changing experiences. The program works to bring sick children from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) to home Miami hockey games, providing them and their families with game tickets, T-shirts, bracelets and free food and drink. In addition, Reichard, several teammates and Swoop, the Miami mascot, visit CCHMC once a month to play and interact with the sick children. Since 2010, the charity has raised thousands of dollars and gained a corporate sponsor, Step Resources.

Reichard is one of many Miami student-athletes involved in community service. All of Miami’s nearly 500 student-athletes participate in some form of volunteering each year, according to Ashley Korn of intercollegiate athletics’ Redhawk Council.

This year, the athletic department partnered with Bruce Elementary in Eaton for a new program. “Miami Play 30: Swoop into Fitness” seeks to educate young children of the importance of eating healthy and staying fit. Miami athletes from every sport head to Bruce Elementary to motivate the students to do just that.

And volunteering does not stop there for Miami athletes.

Last year, the synchronized skating team participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, raising just under $5,000 for the cause. They also collected 580 pounds of canned food for the Oxford Choice Pantry during their national send-off.

Other service efforts include the Wounded Warrior Project, a program that provides aid to injured service members; the Bring Joy to a Child campaign, which matches an athletic team with a family in the Talawanda School District who could use help during the holiday season; and the CHAMPIONship reading program, which assigns each team to a local elementary school, where students were to track each minute they read while out of school. The winning school is awarded with a pizza party and free admission to a men’s basketball game.

Service by all Miami students contributed to Miami receiving the Presidential Award in the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll last month, one of five awards given nationwide.

written by Emily Glaser, intern

Cody Reichard and Swoop's Stoop win Giant Steps Award

Miami University hockey senior goaltender Cody Reichard and his foundation, Swoop’s Stoop, are the winner of the Giant Steps Award in the community organization category, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) announced last week. The recognition is part of the NCAS’ annual National STUDENT-Athlete Day, now in its 25th year. This year’s Giant Steps Award winners will be honored Oct. 4 in Orlando, Fla.

Giant Steps Awards recognize individual student-athletes, professional athletes, civic leaders, coaches, community organizations and other individuals who exemplify the ideals of balancing academics, athletics, life pursuits and giving back to the community through the spirit of athletics.

Chosen by a national selection committee from hundreds of nominations received nationwide, these individuals exemplify the meaning of National STUDENT-Athlete Day. More information is at muredhawks.com.

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