Above: Jon Blanchard '08, of Tewksbury, Mass., a captain of the Bates men's rowing team, channels his inner Frankenstein during the first annual Bates Field Day. The afternoon of games led by Bates student-athletes attracted about 200 local children to campus.
LEWISTON, Maine — Yellow "Bates Field Day" T-shirts could be seen bouncing all over the Bates campus on Sunday, brightening a mostly overcast and slightly drizzly spring day. Brighter still were the smiles on the faces of some 200 local children and 100 Bates student-athletes, who clearly had a ball playing an array of games together for an afternoon.
The event was set up by the Bates Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and the idea was beautifully simple: to invite anyone between grades 2 and 8 to come on campus and play kickball or run relay races with Bates student-athletes — the broader goal was to strengthen the ties between Bates and the community. Organizers hope to make Bates Field Day an annual event, and SAAC — in particular organizers Izzy Alexander '09 and Nate Kellogg '09, assisted by Robert Wesley-Munro '08 and Andrew Percy '08 — deserve a round of applause for what was, by all accounts, a resounding success.
"Everywhere that I went, across the eight different venues that were set up, the kids were having a great time, and I think that their interaction with our athletes was priceless. Also, it seemed to me that our athletes had a pretty good time with the school kids as well," said Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh, who advises SAAC. "This was a fantastic start to what could annually be a premier activity for Bates athletics and the youth of the Lewiston-Auburn community. It made me very proud."