NYSPHSAA Announces Bethpage Senior High School as Community Service Challenge Winner for Fall 2021

LATHAM, NY- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced Bethpage Senior High School (Section VIII) as the winner of the Fall 2021 Community Service Challenge.

Bethpage Senior High School was chosen as the winner by the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is comprised of two current student-athletes from each of the 11 member sections. This is the first time Bethpage has won the award and the fourth Section VIII team to win it.

When longtime Bethpage athletic trainer Joe Killeen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April of 2020 the student-athletes of the school he serves sprung into action. Five of the athletic teams at the school held separate fundraisers for cancer research in Killeen’s honor. The girls varsity soccer team, kickline team, varsity cheerleaders, varsity and JV football teams, and the boys and girls volleyball teams combined to raise $10,000 in Joe’s honor.

“Joe Killeen has been an integral part of the athletics program at Bethpage Senior High School for many years”, said John Franchi, Bethpage Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. “Joe’s role here is much more than a job. For him, it is a special vocation supporting our students. Our students, on their own, sprang into action to host a variety of fundraising events to help battle cancer on behalf of their beloved athletic trainer. During this past Fall sports season, these caring young student athletes raised over $10,000 to be donated in Joe’s name to cancer research. Joe and our student-athletes are fighting the battle together. We could not be any prouder of them.”

A total of 168 projects were submitted with 6,311 student-athletes participating in some type of community service project this past spring. In total, $150,566 was raised for charitable causes with 19,508 hours donated by NYSPHSAA student-athletes.

The NYSPHSAA Community Service Challenge submissions are made though the Team Up 4 Community (TU4C) platform. This allows schools to submit their projects online providing sports teams the opportunity to showcase community service projects, demonstrating their commitment and impact in the community.