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Alfred Rugby Club 'Walks the Line' for community service
8/31/11

The Alfred Rugby Club kicked off its season and the 2011-2012 school year Aug. 28 with another of the club’s long-list of public service events. Started last year as part of the "Alfred Community Service Day," this project is named "Alfred Rugby Club Walks the Line."

Club members pick up trash along miles of streets and highways in the Village and Town of Alfred along Allegany County Route 12, explained Coach William Pulos ’77. The route extends from the ServU- Federal Credit Union building on the north side of Alfred village, then along County Route 12 through the village, up over Jericho Hill and out to the Town Line with Andover in Elm Valley.

Along the way, the club members pick up any kind of waste product that can be seen. In the club’s ninth (9) public service event since the fall of 2009, the club picked up trash, debris, garbage, organic waste, wood, plastic, car parts, bottles, cans, pipes, tires, appliances, mailbox, luggage, discarded sluice pipe and a squirt gun, Pulos said. The club members go off -road, over guardrails, into the ditches and culverts to dig out (many times) offensive materials.

The project is not without some exposure, to traffic and to tetanus. Two of the team members sustained cuts on sharp materials, requiring medical attention. Luckily, there were no traffic accidents; many passersby and drivers honked their horns appreciatively as the club members were out in the roadside ditches rooting out the public detritus.

Once the material was collected, the club staged the materials on its home turf atop Jericho Hill and then had a two- hour practice with the pile of junk on the sideline for inspiration. Afterward, the club members transported the debris down to the village where the Alfred University and Alfred State College staff assisted with proper disposal.

This year 20 members of the club participated in the clean-up effort, devoting 50 man-hours to the project, Pulos said. "In addition to being competitive in a very tough game, The Alfred Rugby Club is proud to be community friendly and community oriented."

This year’s efforts to clean up the Alfred community were dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Claire Randolph, a long-time Alfred Main Street resident, Alfred-Almond teacher and supporter of the Alfred Rugby Club. Each year, Mrs. Randolph would take the time to stop and meet the club members as they went about their Alfred public service duties. "We wanted to recognize Mrs. Randolph and her 67 years of service to the Alfred community," Pulos said. "We thank her and her family for their support of the club’s efforts."

Speaking for the club, President Steve Dahar said: "Since we spend all our time on Jericho Hill, it seemed a natural for us to clean up the road leading to the field from both directions. We appreciate being able to serve Alfred University, Alfred State College, the Town and Village of Alfred and Allegany County in this effort. We are pleased to help."

Dahar added: "We’d also like to thank Alfred University, its grounds crew and the Division of Student Affairs for all their support over the years. The club has had some good years and some lean years; Alfred University has stood by the club through thick and thin. Since the fall of 2009, the club has conducted nine public service projects devoting 500 man hours of donated time. We appreciate the faith that Student Affairs has placed in our club; we welcome mainstream athletes and ‘non-traditional’ athletes as well. We like to think we can help keep people in school."

The club trains and plays it games on Alfred University’s Jericho Hill Field Complex at 2, 200 feet above sea level. The club’s website is www.alfredrugby.com.

The club’s first home game on Jericho Hill is set for this Saturday, Sept. 3, 2001 with kick-off at 1 pm against long -time rival Hobart College. Last spring these two clubs met twice, with each club winning a game. Other home games are set for the weekend of Sept. 24-25th and Oct. 8th.