On Wednesday nights for the past five years the Spring Hill College baseball team has been devoting their time, efforts and smiles to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On September 15, 2011, the team received recognition for their work from The Arc of Alabama, Inc., and was selected to receive the Boggs/Mitchell Award at the 2011 Alabama Disability Conference. The award recognizes a chapter or community organization providing year-round, challenging and inclusive recreational/leisure-time programs for people with disabilities.
On these nights the young men meet with a group of disabled individuals from Arc and bowl at the local bowling alley. The players assist the individuals with their shoes, bowling balls, lane assignments and competitive spirit. SHC senior Fred Rossi of Shreveport, La. said, "We bowl and interact with them, and it's usually very competitive."
While making an impact in the community, the program left quite an impression on the players. "It really makes me feel blessed that I am able to give back fully and help the people who need help," said Rossi.
Spring Hill College Head Baseball Coach Frank Sims is especially proud of his players and the recognition they have received. "You always read about the bad things going on in the world, but you hardly ever hear about the people who are giving back, the good guys," Sims says. "That's the important thing to me - that we can help someone, bottom line," he says.
Rossi and team junior John Hollingsworth of Daphne, Ala., went to the conference to accept the award on behalf of the baseball team. The two young men were among several other individuals who made a difference in their own communities. "It makes you feel good to have accomplished something at this level," said Rossi.