COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M, Home of the 12th Man, has waved 12th Man towels in support of Aggie athletics since the mid 1980's. The Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will team with the 12th Man Student Foundation to conduct special sales of 12th Man towels prior to the upcoming home game against South Carolina on Oct. 31. Texas A&M will donate proceeds from the sales of special $5 commemorative towels to the South Carolina Flood Relief efforts.
"We are the new kids in the Southeastern Conference, but one thing that is perfectly clear, the SEC is a family," Director of Athletics Eric Hyman said. "Just like a family, you love to beat your brother in competitions, but you have his back if ever needed. With the devastating flooding in South Carolina, Texas A&M wanted to help out South Carolina in some way possible and the sale 12th Man towels is a perfect way to assist."
"Our football team will wear special black uniforms for Halloween, but we encourage our fans to buy white 12th Man towels with a special black ink with both team's logos, the date, Aggies Helping #SCFloodRelief and the word TOGETHER," Hyman said. "In place of the letter O in together is the outline of the state of South Carolina."
The student-athletes at Texas A&M had already designated the South Carolina game as their annual Aggies CAN food drive for the Brazos Valley Food Bank.
"As Aggies, we hold true to a set of core values and among them is selfless service," Texas A&M SAAC President Kelli Benjamin, a female swimmer from the nationally-ranked women's swimming and diving team. "Our thoughts and prayers have been with the people of South Carolina and this is a small way in which we can try and help their relief efforts."
"We will be able to collect the canned goods and provide that help to our local community with the Brazos Valley Food Bank and the 12th Can, a campus food pantry run by students," Benjamin explained. "The monetary donations we receive will not only be distributed to our local food pantries, but to the South Carolina relief effort as well."
Texas A&M is the home of the largest student-athlete run canned food drive in the nation with over 200 student-athletes participating last year and the 2015 Aggies CAN food drive is set to begin later this week beginning with the Sunday, Oct. 25 soccer match against Ole Miss and the week's activities will conclude with the Oct. 31 football game against South Carolina.
Directed by the Aggie SAAC, over 200 student-athletes helped last year in raising more than $13,700 in cash and more than 8,000 pounds of canned goods that were donated to the Brazos Valley Food Bank in 2014. In an effort to make an even greater impact, SAAC has partnered with Whataburger, The Bryan-College Station Eagle, KAGS-TV, and the Brazos Valley Food Bank for the 2015 campaign.
"I am so proud of all of the Aggies, especially our student-athletes, who not only talk about the Texas A&M core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service, but they demonstrate a real and tangible commitment to a very worthy cause," Hyman explained. "Hunger is a problem across the world, even in our wonderful community in the Brazos Valley. The Brazos Valley Food Bank is an important part of our community and we're happy to do what we can to help contribute to this important campaign."
SAAC and Aggie student-athletes will wear lime green shirts throughout the next week at various athletics events and will be happy to accept monetary donations or canned good items at each event.
The kickoff to the week begins on Sunday, Oct. 25 as the nationally-ranked soccer team hosts the Ole Miss Rebels at Ellis Field with kickoff set for 6 p.m. Collection of canned goods and towel sales will be conducted at Rudder Plaza from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. each weekday.
The week will wrap up with an 11 a.m. kickoff at Kyle Field on Saturday, Oct. 31 as the Aggie football team hosts the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. Fans who bring a canned good to the soccer match will receive free admission and a coupon courtesy of Whataburger.