Chilliwack's Alexa McCarthy has been selected as the 2013 CIS Sylvia Sweeney Award recipient for outstanding community service.
McCarthy, who plays basketball for the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, became just the second student-athlete from the school to receive a major CIS award in its seven year affiliation with the league.
The award is presented to reward excellence in the student-athlete, and is named in honour of Sylvia Sweeney, a past player at McGill, Concordia and Laurentian who excelled both on the court and in the classroom. McCarthy is active
in several community service initiatives and takes on a key leadership role in UFV athletics as a whole. She battled through an unfathomable number of injuries over the years to become a significant contributor to the team in 2012-13. She has also taken a leadership role on her team in reaching out to the community.
She has initiated, organized and driven what has become a major UFV athletics community outreach initiative, the school's annual Walk and Knock food bank drive.
The drive sees UFV athletes walking the streets on Halloween evening to collect food for the Abbotsford food bank. In recent years, McCarthy has also been participating in the Fraser Valley's chapter of the Operation Red Nose program and has led UFV's CIS "Shoot for the Cure" drive at UFV.
McCarthy has won UFV's athletics community service award three times and has thrice been recognized by the University of the Fraser Valley for her outstanding contribution and leadership with the community service she provides in our communities.
"Alexa has been a major contributor to UFV, the athletics program and the Fraser Valley communities," said UFV athletic director Rocky Olfert in a press release. "She has had a significant impact on the culture we are trying to create. Her efforts to continually put others before herself and model this as a student-athlete has been an inspiration to all of us."
McCarthy becomes the second Cascade to earn the CIS Sylvia Sweeney award, Michelle Buhler was selected in 2007-08.
McCarthy, a kinesiology major, does the majority of the ground work, organization, recruitment of helpers and guest speakers for all the fundraising events for non-profit organizations involving the Cascades. She markets events around campus and the community and has been the major reason UFV has been able to increase its contributions to worthy causes in three years she has been at UFV.
"I am very proud of Alexa's contributions to our program and the community," UFV women's basketball head coach Al Tuchscherer said. "She is a true student-athlete playing, practising, studying and contributing to the needs of others without asking for anything in return. Alexa is a role model for our program."