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Daniel Burgess Tricycle Relays wins National NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award

June 23, 2010

[Columbia, SC] A powerful Benedict College program that transformed the loss of a child to asthma into a day of joy, awareness, testing and support has been selected as the winner of the National NCAA Division II Community-Engagement Award of Excellence for 2009-10. The award was announced Saturday at the Division II Chancellors and Presidents Summit in Indianapolis.

bc athletics burgess relays awardThe Daniel Burgess Tricycle Relays was chosen from nominations submitted by 18 Division II conferences. Each conference winner received $500, and Benedict received a trophy in recognition of its award-winning program.

"What I liked most was just the idea of a joyful experience in a tricycle race and the way they really invited the whole community to be involved," said community-engagement consultant Rich Luker, who joined student-athletes Rose Broderick and Jennifer Chow on a judging panel. "This wasn't just a tribute. It was a carefully planned program that touched on a wide range of audiences, a broad array of communication approaches to get the word out, participation across the campus and financial support in the community. This is a magnificent model for taking a local tragedy and converting it into a meaningful and enjoyable community experience."

The Benedict athletics department (staff and student athletes), along with the South Carolina Asthma Alliance, hosted the relays to raise awareness about asthma after the death of Daniel Burgess, the son of a Benedict employee. The tricycle relays not only featured actual races but also educational seminars, screenings, physical fitness and vendors. The event totaled more than $4,000 in sponsorship and donations, and $2,000 was donated to the South Carolina Asthma Alliance to raise awareness about asthma. Numerous Benedict student-athletes, faculty, staff and community residents were screened for asthma, and seven tested positive, including four Benedict students.

"We're very appreciative of this award," said Benedict Athletics Director Willie Washington at Saturday's Chancellors and Presidents Summit. "This award was really an attempt on behalf of the college to work with the asthma association in Columbia, South Carolina. We had a college staff member and his son passed away, and we figured it would be a great tribute to go and do something good for the community."

For more information about the Daniel Burgess Tricycle Relays or donations please call the Benedict College Athletic Department at (803) 705-4501.

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