AMHERST, N.Y. -- The Daemen College Center for Allied and Unified Sport and Exercise (CAUSE) has received the 2020 Community Leader Award in Sports from the National Federation for Just Communities (NFJC) of Western New York in honor of the impact the program is having in the region.
The CAUSE program, which provides competitive and recreational sports activities for individuals with disabilities on a weekly basis, received the award at the organization’s Community Leader Awards luncheon held on Feb. 13 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
“It was an honor for CAUSE to be recognized by the NFJC for our work in the community, and we will continue to live the mission of CAUSE in all we do,” said Brooke Densing, CAUSE director. “CAUSE empowers persons with and without disabilities through physical activity, recreation, and social
interaction. Participants play side-by-side with students and student-athletes, giving all who participate in CAUSE a range of skills that help broaden their worldview, break down stereotypes about people with differing abilities, and brings people together.”
The Community Leader Awards recognized various local individuals and community groups for their contributions in community service and volunteerism, philanthropy, education, and other areas. Among the other honorees was Karl Shallowhorn, a Daemen adjunct professor of sociology/social work and program director for the Community Health Center of Buffalo, who received the Community Leader Award in Healthcare.
The NFJC Sports Award is the latest honor to be received by CAUSE. Through the program’s affiliation with Daemen Athletics, it has been recognized in past years by the East Coast Conference and NCAA Division II, including the latter’s Award of Excellence in 2018.
Launched in 2017 as a collaboration between the Daemen Social Work, Special Education, and Athletics Departments, the Daemen CAUSE program more than doubled its weekly sport sampling sessions last fall. Participants are exposed to a variety of activities ranging from team and individual sports like basketball, volleyball and tennis, to physical fitness, Olympic games, and dance and Zumba.
Sport sampling sessions are offered on weeknights (Tuesdays 6 - 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays 6 - 7:30 p.m.) as well as Sunday afternoons (two sessions: 1 - 2:30 p.m. and 3 - 4:30 p.m.), and are open to any individual with a disability.
The CAUSE program is funded entirely through grants and donations from various community partners. To learn more about weekly program offerings or how to become a partner, visit daemen.edu/CAUSE.