EIU football giving back this summer: ‘Lunch with a Panther’

EIU football giving back this summer: ‘Lunch with a Panther’
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FOOTBALL TEAM REPORTS TO CAMPUS TODAY. TRAINING CAMP STARTS TOMORROW FOR THE PANTHERS UNDER NEW FIRST YEAR HEAD COACH ADAM CUSHING. AND AS WCIA THREE’S MARLEE WIERDA REPORTS — HE’S ALREADY TRANSFORMED THE PROGRAM — BY PUTTING AN EMPHASIS ON GIVING BACK. Something as simple as this, is enough to put a smile on these kids’ faces. MARK WILLIAMS: They really like it they enjoy it, they come out here and play football with us, they run around with us, we play water games, and throw water balloons, and it’s a fun time you don’t really think about it as community serivce. This summer the EIU football team has been volunteering with Charleston Day Camp. It’s a weekly event they call “Lunch with a Panther”. Offensive lineman Cole Hoover is involved as an employee with the camp, and the speical education major he spends most of his time with Liam– a camper he had an instant connection with. COLE HOOVER: “I talk about not just Liam, but I talk about the whole camp, I’m always saying ‘this kid did this today, this kid did that, and it was super funny so for them to see it and meet those kids, it’s jsut awesome.” MEGAN: “He’s willing to take time out of his busy schedule to give back to the community, and maybe it is his job, but he’s using his skills he’s learned at Eastern. The involvement with the Eastern football team has really been appreciated and noticed.” MARLEE WIERDA: This is their first year doing Lunch with a Panther, it’s one of their many community service initiatives they’ve been a part of this summer, and it’s all lead by first year head coach Adam Cushing and his mission to establish a new culture for the team. ADAM CUSHING: “We’re trying to be great in the classroom, we want to give back to the community, we want to be a really productive member of the community, then that’s going to translate to the field, it’s that habit of being great at everything, and truly embracing and giving back to where we’re from.” MARK WILLIAMS: “In past years we haven’t done stuff like this, so now it’s getting the community more involved and we might see more people at the games.” MARLEE: The panthers have made strides off the field this summer, but the true test will come in August when they get back on the field for training camp. Reporting in Charleston, Marlee Wierda, WCIA 3 Sports. ((BRET)) MARLEE THANKS — THE ILLINI REPORT TO CAMPUS

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