Kansas Student-Athletes Participate in Rock Chalk Ring Day

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Some danced, some sang songs, others just smiled and rang the bell, but all helped. Nearly 100 Kansas student-athletes participated in a Rock Chalk Ring Day, volunteering time on KU’s Stop Day Friday to ring bells for the Salvation Army of Douglas County.
Jayhawk student-athletes from eight different teams, in conjunction with Kansas Athletics’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), served at 12 different locations and covered a combined 56 hours of ringing time. The Red Kettle Campaign enables The Salvation Army to provide food, toys and clothing during the holiday season and helps the organization serve those in most need in Douglas County throughout the year.
“It was a good way to give back,” Kansas men’s golfer Chase Hanna said. “We definitely had fun – anytime you spend a few hours with your teammates it’s a good time. We’re definitely blessed with a lot, given a platform to reach out and enjoyed doing it today.”
For the last several years, Jayhawk SAAC and its members have participated by ringing bells at two locations on Mass Street in Lawrence, but this year several large teams joined the effort including football, women’s basketball and men’s golf, the latter two sending their entire roster.
Several groups found ways to turn the monotony of ringing a bell for a two hour shift into a fun creative expression, including women’s basketball who made a karaoke version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” which they shared across the team’s social media platforms. Teri Huslig, a sophomore from Lawrence on the track and field team, was ringing with three other teammates at Starbucks on Mass when two strangers with instruments showed up and started playing.
“After about an hour, a man that played the harmonica and another that played the guitar started playing Christmas music together and we rang the bells along with the rhythm,” Huslig said. “It got the people a little bit more in to it and that made it more fun for us too. We had a lot of fun coming up with different ways to ring the bells, and it was fun being able to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays – be able to put a smile on other peoples faces.
“The best part was maybe getting to take a study break, take my mind off the stress of finals and focus on giving back. It was a cool opportunity for athletes to do all day.”
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