Courtesy of Oneonta Sports Information Department
ONEONTA, NY - There are six strategic pillars that are crucial to the culture of SUNY Oneonta. Two of those pillars are Global Connectedness and Community Partnership. An important component to the SUNY Oneonta Athletics mission is to be recognized for integrity, honesty, and caring in athletics, academics, and community pursuits. These important values come together with college values synergizing with our own athletic department in the annual CANstruction project organized by SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee). SAAC is a student-led organization that serves as a communicative link between SUNY Oneonta Athletics and the college itself.
The CANstruction event was also the culminating activity for NCAA Division III Week that saw SUNY Oneonta student athletes participate in multiple activities throughout the week that celebrated athletic and academic success along with Alumni student athletes and college faculty.
This year, senior Jamie Demerest of the women's swimming & diving team and Vice President of SAAC helped coordinate the CANstruction project to benefit Otsego County's less fortunate. With the vote of the SAAC members who are represented by individuals from each varsity team, they decided to build a miniature version of Red Dragon field with the components of the structure made up exclusively of canned foods. Each member of the varsity sport community contributed $3 each to purchase canned goods, which Demerest and a group of SAAC volunteers purchased from local grocery stores.
Demerest and her group of volunteers performed a "pre build" leading up to the event, which was at the Southside Mall this past Sunday. The group carefully recorded the instructions so they could reproduce the structure during the actual build. Their completed structure is currently on display at the mall for the entire week before being disassembled this weekend. Demerest's group will again breakdown the structure and all the cans will be brought to a variety of food pantries throughout Otsego County. The total number of cans that were used and donated was more than 1,000.
Demerest had this to say about her involvement in the event. "I am proud to represent the SUNY Oneonta Athletic Department and be a contributor to the community. Sharing this event with fellow student athletes was a productive, whole hearted effort to help those in need."
SUNY Oneonta continues to foster a community of students who understand the necessity to help the needy and to teach our students that getting a college education is a privilege and with that privilege comes a responsibility to also assist others.
CANstruction Inc. is a nonprofit organization that holds annual design and build competitions. The late Cheri Melillo, a member of the Society of Design Administration, conceived and held the first event in New York City in 1992.
Over the years, CANstruction Inc. has donated millions of pounds of food for food banks nationwide, providing millions of meals.
Teams in CANstruction events raise money to purchase cans appropriate to the sculpture they plan to construct. Participants must use cans with original labels, and they cannot use glue or anything that will affect the cans during construction. Judges select winners in four categories: Best Use of Labels, Favorite, Best Meal and Structural Ingenuity