SEC awards MU athletes for community service

By Katie Pohlman

PUBLISHED AS A PART OFMANEATER V. 79, ISSUE 50

The two seniors received nominations for their involvement in the community.

The Southeastern Conference recently awarded two MU senior athletes for their community service.

Swimmer Joe Hladik received the Southeastern Conference’s Brad Davis Post-Graduate Scholarship and a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship for his volunteer work with the MS Society, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of America, Food Bank and the Childrens’ Hospital. Hladik was not available for comment.

Gymnast Allie Heizelman received a $5,000 scholarship for her involvement in several charitable programs.

In her four years at MU, Heizelman planned an Alternative Winter Break trip for student-athletes and volunteered with Mizzou Student United Way, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital, the Adopt-a-Soldier program and the Missouri Special Olympics.

Heizelman also was part of the group that brought Caleb’s Pitch, a program that helps children with terminal illnesses create art projects, to the MU Children’s Hospital. The program gives children syringes full of paint to squirt onto blank canvases.

Gymnast Mary Burke, Heizelman’s roommate and teammate for four years, said she was not surprised when she found out Heizelman had been nominated for the award.

“Community service had always been really important to her,” Burke said. “Allie was always planning events and getting other people involved in them.”

Heizelman’s favorite service memory comes from her time with Caleb’s Pitch, when one boy suddenly became very excited about painting.

“He was so excited to be painting that he was waving the syringe around and accidentally sprayed the paint onto the ceiling,” she said. “There’s still an orange spot there to this day.”

As her love for service grew, Heizelman became involved with more organizations on campus and in the community, she said. Burke said fellow teammates, including herself, readily followed Heizelman’s lead and became more involved with the community through service projects.

“The community supports MU athletes so much, and service is a great way for us to show them we support them as well,” she said.

Heizelman will attend medical school at Ross University after graduating, and she said she is very excited for the change.

“Medical school is always something that I wanted to do, so now I’m really excited to become a doctor,” she said.

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