The Saint Mary’s University athletic department was honored — twice — for its volunteer efforts during the 2012-2013 academic school year.

CAPTION: The “Strong Is The New Beautiful” 5K run/walk — which brought 600 people to campus to support senior volleyball player Sabrina Bushlack — earned Saint Mary’s honorable-mention in the NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Awards One-Time Project category

Saint Mary’s earned honorable-mention honors in both the One-Time Project and An Array of Projects categories as part of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA)/Jostens Community Service Awards.

The awards program is co-sponsored by the NADIIIAA and Jostens and is intended to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities.

“As always, I am extremely proud of our student-athletes — they embody the Lasallian spirit of service and leadership, and truly give of themselves in many ways,” said SMU athletic director Nikki Fennern. “We are privileged to use the gifts we have to serve others and we gain valuable learning opportunities in the process.

“To commit to these significant hours of service — given the tremendous time constraints and busy lives of student-athletes — shows the well-rounded experience of our students of the true spirit Division III athletics.”

In the Array of Projects category, Saint Mary’s student-athletes donated over 3,000 hours of time to a variety of projects including, but not limited to — painting buildings, working with Winona area youth, Special Olympics young athletes program, Spruce Up Winona and Make a Difference Day, to name a few, while the “Strong is the New Beautiful” 5K run/walk benefit for senior volleyball player Sabrina Bushlack earned Saint Mary’s honorable-mention in the One-Time Project category.

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