Lipscomb student-athletes assist ice storm victims in Kentucky

Sunday, February 08, 2009

PADUCAH, Ky. - Lipscomb University student-athletes made a direct impact and left an extremely positive impression on the town of Paducah, Ky., Saturday as they helped provide relief to the victims of the historic ice storm that paralyzed the region last week. Coach Lynn Griffith, Lipscomb's Director of Tennis, and Brent High, Assistant Athletic Director for Development, accompanied 21 Bisons and Lady Bisons including members of the cross country, track & field, volleyball, women's golf and women's soccer teams as they worked in conjunction with the Lone Oak Church of Christ to clear and process tree debris from the properties of widows, elderly members and several neighbors whose properties adjoined Lone Oak's grounds.

"We just can't tell you how much we appreciate you helping us, how much it really means when people show they care," said Les Sternburg, a member at Lone Oak who has been organizing the relief efforts on the ground in Paducah, as he spoke to the student athletes.  "We got a lot done today thanks to you."

Former Bison tennis player and Paducah native Dr. Eric Grogan, who grew up at Lone Oak, helped connect the two groups.

The day started early for the student athletes.  They left Lipscomb at 5:30 a.m. and traveled to Paducah in a 33-passenger bus from Wise Coaches of Nashville who donated the bus for the trip. The entire day consisted of lifting, dragging, pulling, loading, unloading, piling and burning thousands of limbs and trees.

"There's no telling how many thousands of pounds of limbs and trees these students processed today," said High. "Some of us were trying to compare what we did today to other jobs we've done in the past. The best comparison we could come up with is working in the tobacco patch or loading square hay bales on a wagon and putting them up in a barn. This was tough work. Our athletes worked like warriors and never once complained. Coach Griffith and I told them at the end of the day how very proud of them we were and how these were the kind of days they would remember long after their playing days are over."