UCA Bears Soccer Players Lend a Hand at Local Winter Festival

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

On January 25th, members of the UCA men’s and women’s soccer teams spent the evening at Marguerite Vann Elementary School in Conway as volunteers for their Winter Festival. The student-athletes helped coordinate and run the activities for the festival, which included everything from face painting to Bingo.

“Getting a chance to meet people in the community and spend time with the kids at the school was fun,” said men’s soccer player Jaden Hoth. “Marco (Carvalho) and I were in charge of popcorn and got a chance to meet a lot of the kids and parents through the evening.”

While the volunteer work took 3 hours out of their Friday night, the student-athletes found it to be a very valuable experience. “Being able to spend time with the kids at a fun event like this was very rewarding. I was in charge of face painting and it was fun to see the kids get excited about meeting us and getting their face painted,” said men’s soccer player Manuel Montal. “It is important for us to give back to the community in return for the experience we get to have here at UCA as student-athletes.” 

Kimberly McCullough, Marguerite Vann Elementary School Parent and Winter Festival Coordinator, helped to organize the volunteer effort. “The UCA soccer teams were a big part of the success for our recent school festival. The team members went above and beyond their assigned duties. They made sure that each student they interacted with was having ‘fun!’” said McCullough of the participation from the UCA student-athletes. 

McCullough went on to mention the feedback received from other parents at the event, saying that “many parents commented about how engaged the players were with the students. The team represented UCA very well and served as excellent role models for the students! I do hope that we can partner with the team again in the future.”

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