The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team was nominated for one of five United Way Volunteer of the Year awards for its volunteer service work with Girls Inc., of Chattanooga. UTC was nominated in the “Youth and Education” category.
Head Coach Travis Filar and rising senior Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) were on hand for the ceremonies Tuesday night at the Unum Atrium.
“It is an honor to be nominated for this award,” Filar said. “It is an organization we began working with early in the year and our team has enjoyed being a part of.”
Despite not getting the award, the nomination was an honor in and of itself, said Green.
“It was an awesome experience,” Green said. “Being surrounded by so amazing volunteers at the ceremony was moving. Volunteering with the group was a heartfelt experience. It was something we always looked forward to.”
Girls Inc. of Chattanooga is a nonprofit organization, funded through the United Way, that aims to help girls improve academically, make smarter choices, build self-confidence, develop leadership skills and stay focused on higher education.
“The volleyball players have been coming to our after-school programs at Clifton Hills, East Ridge Elementary and Brainerd United Methodist Church since January,” said Director of Elementary Age Programs Toccora Johnson. “They have been great hands-on volunteer assistants and played a major role in our Book Worm program. They have helped the girls with reading, math homework and provided college information.”
On the night of the awards banquet, the Mocs ended the semester’s volunteer services by hosting Girls Inc. at Maclellan Gym for a volleyball-themed night of learning and study hall at McKenzie Arena.
“The team demonstrated volleyball while incorporating learning into physical activity,” Johnson said. “Afterwards, the girls studied with the team in study hall. It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to be on a college campus and see what the volleyball team does. It was great for them to be in a college setting, completing homework and getting a sense of the environment.”
Filar’s Mocs are very active in the community. Last season, the team volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House of Chattanooga. The team was involved in numerous ways, including preparing meals at the house.