In what has become the longest act of community service within the CSI Athletics program, the College of Staten Island Baseball team once again partnered with the Doctor Theodore A. Atlas Foundation for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner Food Drive this past weekend. The Dolphins team, led by Head Coach Michael Mauro, met with Staten Islander and boxing great Teddy Atlas to stock and deliver complete turkey Thanksgiving dinners to almost 1,000 area families in need.

“The Atlas Foundation is a staple of community service on Staten Island that works year-round with local families and just being involved with them with an event like this is very rewarding,” said Mauro, who organizes the event each year with Mr. Atlas. “Community service is something our program is proud of and something that defines us as a team.  To be able to partner with local organizers and for a cause like this is special. Our kids do a great job, but it’s a small act next to what the Atlas Foundation does each year.”

Members of the team and coaching staff were in West Brighton throughout the morning as they unloaded trucks full of Thanksgiving fixings, everything a dining table needs on the holiday. In all, the Foundation was able to give away nearly a thousand meals to food insecure individuals and families on Staten Island and beyond.

The partnership with the Atlas Foundation for this event goes as far back as 2008, Mauro’s first year as Head Coach with the CSI Baseball team. Each year is special, but Mauro notes that this year especially, with the intense cold that grasped the tri-state area this weekend, helped put the efforts into perspective.

“It was so cold out this weekend, and it helped us realize how important it is to have a warm meal, a roof over our heads, and family to spend time with during the holidays, and how some struggle with that every day,” he said. “What we do is a small act, but it goes a long way with those we serve, and allows our student-athletes to know that giving back is something we can do year-round.”

The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation is a Staten Island-based community service organization that provides financial, legal and emotional support to individuals and organizations in need, and focuses particularly on the needs of children. It was founded in 1997 by boxing trainer and commentator, Teddy Atlas, in order to honor the memory of his father. In the spirit of Dr. Atlas, who provided free medical care to those who could not afford it and made house calls to give personal care to his patients until he was 80 years old, the Foundation has attempted since its inception to ease the burden of the less fortunate among us. And it accomplishes this in a very human way, in a way which preserves the dignity of the people it helps.

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