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Pirates Donate Thanksgiving Baskets to Needy Families

Amanda Catherall delivers a Thanksgiving basket.
Nov. 24, 2015 SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – For a third straight year, Seton Hall student-athletes actively sponsored Thanksgiving meals for less fortunate families.

Working in conjunction with the University’s Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE) and “Hunger and Homelessness Week,” each of Seton Hall’s teams compiled a submitted a basket full of food typically served during Thanksgiving. From canned vegetables to cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes to even cookies for desert, all 14 programs provided a basket, which also included something unique from their programs such autographed basketballs and soccer balls.

On Monday, the baskets were brought to Walsh Gym and all of the student-athletes took part in a blessing of the baskets performed by Father Bob McLaughlin. Representatives from each program also voted for their favorite basket, which was won by the volleyball team.

“We have so much to be thankful for, and it’s gratifying to be able to provide assistance to families in need this time of the year,” said volleyball freshman Cherise Hennigan.

Tuesday morning, Hennigan was one of eight student-athletes who personally delivered the baskets to the Pierre Toussaint Food Pantry in nearby Newark, N.J. The other athletes included Christian Buitrugo of the men’s soccer team, Amanda Catherall of the women’s cross country team, swimmer Courtney McCardle, volleyball’s Abby Thelen and Sophia Duffy, Meg Larsen and Courtney McCardle of the women’s soccer team.

The student-athletes were greeted by Sister Linda Klaiss, SSJ Pastoral Associate for the adjoining St. Mary’s Church, who thanked them for their generosity and spoke to them about the importance of giving back and providing for those that are less fortunate.

This event, and many other philanthropic endeavors scheduled throughout the academic calendar, are organized and spearheaded by Seton Hall’s H.A.L.L. Program.

"Our student-athletes all understand that representing Seton Hall comes with great responsibility and always jump at the opportunity to use their position within the community for all the right reasons," said Roberto Sasso, Assistant Athletic Director/Student-Athlete Development & Leadership who also serves as the coordinator of the H.A.L.L. Program.