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McDowell, KY– The Alice Lloyd College athletic program got into the Christmas spirit early by paying a visit to McDowell Elementary School in Floyd County on December 9, 2011.

Despite the fact that it was just days before the start of semester exams, members of the basketball and cheerleading squads were eager to take the time to spread a little Christmas cheer to the youngsters.

The cheerleaders adopted different kids and made sure that every child was able to have a gift bag to open that was filled with a variety of items, which caused each of them to squeal with delight.  ALC basketball players and cheerleaders made the students’ day by not only handing out Christmas gifts to them, but by singing Christmas carols and dancing with the children, too.

ALC Cheerleading Coach, Mrs. Kristi Crum (who is also an instructor at McDowell), along with principal Jerri Turner and several of her colleagues, welcomed the student-athletes (along with Men’s Basketball Head Coach JR Hammond and Co-Head Cheerleading Coach Jolene Watts) with open arms. When asked about the experience, Coach Watts exclaimed, “It was truly a blessing to all who participated in handing out toys at McDowell Elementary. To give to those in need, especially at Christmastime, made for a memorable experience. It was heartwarming to see the joy in the children’s faces. I could not have been more proud.”

Brittney Briggs, a junior from Whitesburg, KY, thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent with the youngsters. “I enjoyed seeing the expressions on the children’s faces when they opened their gifts. Seeing the joy that we brought them made me realize how blessed I am. To see the sparkle in the eyes of less fortunate children opening their gifts really warmed my heart.” Briggs further added, “We also loved singing songs with the special education class! I know that my own Christmas will be even merrier because of this experience I shared with them.”

ALC’s participation was as a service for the “Champions of Character” program, which is unique to NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) affiliated colleges around the country. This program is used to promote five core values in the community. These values include: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Servant Leadership, and Sportsmanship.