COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized swimming team completed 148 hours of community service during the 2010 autumn quarter. Several organizations around Columbus benefited from the Buckeyes’ presence throughout the 10 weeks.

Giving back to the Columbus community is something cherished by all Ohio State student-athletes and the synchronized swimmers are no exception. Columbus native Liana Litsky led the team last quarter with 17 hours of service. The senior, who attended Worthington Kilbourne High School, was excited for the team’s impact on the surrounding area as they stepped up to serve.

“It’s nice for us to give back,” Litsky said. “A lot of people aren’t as fortunate as we are.”

The Buckeyes volunteered and participated at more than eight organizations and projects, such as:

Salvation Army of Columbus Angel Tree Toy Drive
The 2nd and 7 Foundation
Holy Food Bank
Light the Night
Life Care Alliance
Operation Buckeye
Holiday Cards for Heroes
Project Mentor

A “Give a Day of Your Life” motto is employed by the team and it encourages each Buckeye to participate in at least eight hours of community service a quarter.

“We also try to get a few girls to every community service option each quarter,” Litsky said.

That motto and stance on service allows the team to not only make a large impact in terms of hours served, but it also allows them to reach numerous organizations, causes and projects throughout each quarter.

The synchronized swimmers partnered most with the Salvation Army of Columbus for the Angel Tree Toy Drive and with The 2nd and 7 Foundation. The reading foundation gives the team a great chance to work with other Ohio State student-athletes as they serve. The program places student-athletes in second-grade classrooms each week to read to the students in an effort to help promote literacy and hard work in the classroom.

Although Ohio State has entered its competition season during this winter quarter, it is still aiming for eight hours of community service to be completed by each member.

“We are gone a lot more this quarter, so weekends are a little challenging,” Litsky said.

However, the 26-time collegiate national champions will find a way to get it done.