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A Passion for Soccer and Service Combined By Shannon Langone


Courtney letourneau invited her entire high school class to her 16th birthday party, but she didn’t do it for the gifts: in lieu of gifts, she asked that everyone bring a donation for the victims of the tsunami in Indonesia. It was a simple, yet selfless, idea that allowed her to help people who had suffered unimaginable loss after a natural disaster. Little did she know that many years later a natural disaster would hit much closer to home, inspiring her to come up with a new way to give back to people in need. Letourneau came to Springfield College in


the spring of 2011, transferring from Long Island University. Although Springfield College had been a top choice at the start of her college search, she had attended Long Island University for the chance to play Division I soccer. After an injury left her unable to play at the same level, she returned to Springfield, where she continued to play soccer, focused on her studies as a sports biology major, and became involved in local community service through Best Buddies, an organization that pairs Springfield College students with adults who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. When the June 1, 2011, tornado hit Springfield, a portion of the


In a matter of weeks, Letourneau organized a 3-on-3 soccer


“Springfield got hit so hard,” says Letourneau, “and I felt it was important to give back to the community that I was now a part of.”


tournament to benefit Springfield College and local neighborhoods, recruiting players, volunteers, and sponsors by calling everyone she knew, and by using Facebook to get the word out. “Soccer is my passion,” explains Letourneau, “so it seemed like a good way to raise some money.” The event took place in Holden, Mass., at Wachusett Regional High School, and more than 120 friends, family, and community members from Paxton and surrounding towns partici- pated. The tournament raised $1,500 in just three hours, and the money was donated to the Springfield College Spirit of Renewal Fund, which supported the recovery effort on campus, and to the Springfield Red Cross. The tournament was such a success


that Letourneau decided to make it an annual event. In July 2012, she organized another tournament, doubling the number of participants and raising more than $3,000. This time the money went to a 3-year-old girl suffering from neuroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer. “This year, we had two full teams of


Springfield College campus and many of the surrounding neighbor- hoods took a direct hit. Letourneau, who was at home in Paxton, Mass., at the time, couldn’t believe what she saw and heard about the destruction. Although she had only been at Springfield College for one semester, she felt compelled to act. “Springfield got hit so hard,” says Letourneau, “and I felt it was important to give back to the community that I was now a part of.”


TRIANGLE 1 Vol . 84, No. 1


students from Springfield College,” says Letourneau. “The feedback and support from my teammates and coach at SC was overwhelm- ingly positive.” Letourneau is extremely humble and relaxed when talking about


her accomplishments, and perhaps that’s why she has been so successful. She explains that giving back is easy and that people can do simple things to give back on a daily basis: “I believe that every day can be Humanics In Action Day,” says Letourneau, a sure sign that she belongs at Springfield College and is furthering its mission of leadership in service to others.1


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