Nov. 23, 2009
The Vols and Lady Vols started off the holiday season with the annual Holiday Dinner for those in need.
For the sixth year, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted 50 guests from Volunteer Ministries on campus for an evening of festivities to celebrate the upcoming holidays.
Guests from the local shelter first received a traditional Thanksgiving meal, complete with all the trimmings, at the Varsity Inn at Gibbs Hall. After dinner, the guests played bingo with the winners having the chance to pick an item of UT apparel as their prize.
UT teams had graciously given athletic gear in the previous weeks to donate to the guests in need. Additional items such as Moe's gift cards and Adidas bags were raffled off as well so everyone had a chance to win gifts during the evening.
"We really enjoy being able to give back to our community because we are so blessed to be student-athletes at the University of Tennessee," said rower and SAAC president Mary Beth Dreusike. "It's a great experience for us to be able to make a difference when all our athletic teams come together to volunteer."
For the student-athletes, the chance to host the holiday dinner helped to start the holiday season in the right spirit.
"The evening was a lot of fun for everyone and the atmosphere was great. I felt like it was very festive and we had a great time celebrating the holidays together" said Davey Sandgren, a tennis player who played Santa Clause and led the group in singing carols.
Through all the activities of the dinner, the Vols and Lady Vols were able to give back to their community and start the holiday season by making a difference.