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Southern Miss Wins C-USA SAAC Cup with League-Best Contribution

Dec. 18, 2009

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss earned the 2009 C-USA SAAC Cup after totaling a league-best $3,585.50 in a canned food drive for Homes of Hope for Children. Homes of Hope for Children serve children in crisis throughout Mississippi. The 2009 C-USA SAAC Cup will be presented by the Southern Miss SAAC to Athletics Director Richard Giannini at an event this spring.

Following behind the Golden Eagles in a close race for the Cup was Marshall University. The Thundering Herd collected $3,120 for the Salvation Army through a coat drive, while East Carolina finished third with a canned food drive that produced $2,263 worth of food for the East Carolina Food Bank.

Memphis also participated in the program with a canned food drive that supplied the Mid-South Food Bank with more than $2,000. Rice held a cell phone drive to support Hope Phones, a non-profit organization who partners with The Wireless Source to process donated phones. For every phone donated, up to 50 families lives' are impacted. The Owls' collected $2,000 worth of phones that will help supply medical clinics worldwide.

Houston and UTEP both collected more than $1,000.00 worth of goods. The Cougars sponsored a shoe drive to benefit the Star of Hope Mission. Star of Hope is a Christ-centered community organization dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children. UTEP's canned food was donated to The West Texas Food Bank and will help fulfill the company's mission to alleviate hunger through community partnerships.

UCF and Tulsa also held canned food drives for their respective communities. The Knights collected nearly 2,000 pounds of food for Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, while Tulsa tallied nearly 700 pounds of food for the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank. UAB's clothing drive was donated to The Foundry in Birmingham, Ala., and will help to restore hope and rebuild lives.

Rounding out the C-USA Changing Lives Program are SMU and Tulane who hosted loose change drives. SMU sent their donations to RISE (Recovery Inspiration Success Empowerment) Adventures, a charitable organization that creates independence for the physically challenged population. Tulane's collections were sent to Girls First, which is dedicated to providing sport and movement opportunities to underserved girls in the metropolitan New Orleans area.

The Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee approved the C-USA Changing Lives Program as a way to unite league institutions through a conference-wide community service initiative. Each C-USA institution was asked to work with their local community to conduct a campus-wide loose change drive or other drive of choice for one week during the fall semester. C-USA schools collected $19,534.80 worth of donations in which all proceeds were donated to various charities around the country.

Institution - Type of Drive - Charity - Total
East Carolina - Canned Food - Eastern North Carolina Food Bank - $2,263.00
Houston - Shoe - Star of Hope Mission - $1,980.00
Marshall - Coat - Salvation Army - $3,120.00
Memphis - Canned Food - Mid-South Food Bank - $2,026.50
Rice - Cell Phone - Hope Phones - $2,000.00
SMU - Loose Change - Rise Adventures - $722.30
Southern Mississippi - Canned Food - Homes of Hope for Children - $3,585.50
Tulane - Loose Change - Girls First Organization - $604.00
Tulsa - Canned Food - Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank - $349.50
UAB - Clothing - The Foundry - $630.00
UCF - Canned Food - Second Harvest Food Bank - $919.00
UTEP - Canned Food - The West Texas Food Bank - $1,335.00

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