Courtesy of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and


EDISON, N.J. – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has announced Marist College as the winner of the 2013-2014 MAAC Pepsi Goodworks Challenge for the second consecutive year. As a result of winning this year’s challenge, Marist College has received a $1,000 donation, which will be made to the Grace Smith House, Inc.

"We are very proud of our student-athletes for once again allowing us to be the winner of the MAAC Pepsi Goodworks Challenge for the second year in a row," said Cammie Jones, Marist Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement. "Thank you to all our Red Foxes for all your hardwork, dedication, and support of all the community service projects from this year. We would not be successful without each and every one of you."

The Red Foxes athletic administrators, student-athletes, coaches, and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) took part in 65 community service events, volunteered over 6,500 hours, and earned over 7,700 points in the academic year. Marist’s largest amount of volunteered hours in the 2013-14 challenge went to the Stay in to Win program. The program was created to help middle school and high school students focus on making good academic, career, and personal choices. Marist College student-athletes and coaches from multiple sports visited Poughkeepsie Middle School throughout the year and joined together with the middle school teachers and administrators to motivate and encourage students, particularly those at risk of dropping out, to stay in school to graduation. The players communicated the value of effective decision-making skills and the impact that academic, career, and personal decisions made now will have on their futures. The middle school students were encouraged to develop success teams to help them overcome obstacles and success plans to guide them as they make the educational and career decisions that will direct their lives.

Other charities and events that Marist participated in this year included: Habitat for Humanity, Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, Friends of Jaclyn, Edward Taylor Coombs Memorial Fall Ball Shootout, Upward Bound Program, Dutchess/Ulster American Heart Association Walk, and Dimes for Down Syndrome.     

"I'm so proud of our student-athletes for devoting so much time to others given all their responsibilities and time constraints," said Alyssa Gates, Marist Director of Student-Athlete Enchancement. "I'm also so excited Grace Smith House will be receiving the donation. Their work in violence prevention is inspiring and we are so lucky to have worked with such an outstanding organization."

About Grace Smith House

The mission of Grace Smith House, Inc. is to enable individuals and families to live free from domestic violence through:

  • Providing shelter and apartments, advocacy, counseling and education
  • Raising the consciousness of the community regarding the extent, type and seriousness of domestic violence
  • Initiating and taking positions on public policies in order to provide options which empower victims of domestic violence

Grace Smith House is a private not-for-profit domestic violence agency, which provides both residential and non-residential services to victims of domestic violence and their children.

"In the late 1970's, when the idea for the Grace Smith House shelter was born, no one envisioned that our organization would serve over 2,500 families in flight from their personal domestic violence horror each year. Today, Grace Smith House has grown from one crisis shelter at its inception in 1981, to two shelters, one second stage housing and our Follow-up and Non-Residential programs. Our programs provide Adult & Child counseling, Family Court advocacy, Child Protective Services, Social Services advocacy, Life Skills training, continuing Support Groups and education about domestic violence.

While we are pleased to have served and aided so many families and individuals, there is still so much more that can be done to attain our ultimate goal of "enabling women and children to live free from domestic violence".

Besides providing a safe place, where the victims can start their healing process and work towards leading lives free from violence, our mission is to educate the community about the extent, type and seriousness of domestic violence and to initiate a public policy in order to provide options that empower victims of domestic violence."