WAMs To Host Ninth Annual Big Event February 1-2

Wheaton student-athletes promote sobriety among college students

NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton Athletic Mentors (WAMs), a leadership group of student-athletes from each of the College's 21 varsity sports programs, will host the ninth annual Big Event on Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2, 2013 to promote sobriety among college students and to contribute to the local community. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Heller’s Angels Special Olympics team.

The Heller’s Angels is a Special Olympics team based in Attleboro, Mass. The team competes in bowling, basketball, track & field, volleyball, soccer, football, and cheerleading and is open to all athletes ages eight years and older. The mission of Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of well-coached Olympic-type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Massachusetts also provides athletes with continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, prepare for entry into school and community programs, express courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

The Big Event program is designed to raise awareness about alcohol misuse and abuse by establishing a dry weekend on campus while sponsoring numerous social events and activities for students. As part of the effort, the College is encouraged to not issue approval for any events that include alcohol service during the weekend. The WAMs are selling Big Event t-shirts for $8 with all proceeds going towards the Heller’s Angels Special Olympics team.

A full schedule of events is planned for both days, beginning with Friday's dodgeball tournament from 8-10 p.m. in Beard Field House. A mind reader will perform in the Balfour-Hood Atrium at 10:30 p.m. to conclude the evening's festivities. On Saturday, the Big Event Carnival begins in Beard Field House. Fun, food and festivities are scheduled until midnight as a mechanical bull, inflatable air volleyball, sumo wrestling, bungee run and an inflatable obstacle course will be featured throughout the night. Family hour begins at 6 p.m. with students permitted to enter one hour later at 7 p.m. BACCHUS, Wheaton’s student government association, will host a midnight movie on Friday and Saturday night during the Big Event.

"The Big Event is one of the highlights of the winter season for the department of athletics, and I am proud that the Wheaton Athletic Mentors will continue this tradition for the ninth-consecutive winter,” said Director of Athletics John Sutyak '00. “To see the WAMs take the lead and reach out and collaborate with other areas of campus to provide alcohol-free activities for the weekend is a tribute to the dedication they have as Wheaton student-athletes."

The purpose of the WAMs, which is Wheaton's student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC), is to provide a forum for student-athletes and to serve as a liaison between the student-athletes and administration at the academic and athletic levels. The WAMs design and implement programs to encourage academic achievement, health promotion and social responsibility to enhance the student-athlete experience.

“The WAMs and women’s lacrosse head coach Emily Kiablick have worked extremely hard to put together this year's Big Event,” said WAMs co-coordinator Craig Letourneau. “It should be a fun time for all. Personally, I am very excited for the event in February.”

Wheaton is a member of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), an association of ten selective academic institutions that are committed to providing high quality competitive athletic opportunities for student-athletes within an educational and respectful environment that embodies the NCAA Division III philosophy.

Sponsors of the Big Event include the Office of Student Activities, Involvement & Leadership (SAIL) and the Department of Athletics, Programming Council, Senate Fund, The Chateau and WAMs.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Emily Kiablick at (508) 286-5804 or kiablick_emily@wheatoncollege.edu.

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