BALTIMORE, Md. – The One Love Foundation, the non-profit organization created in 2010 to honor the memory of former Virginia women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Reynolds Love (YRL), today announced that University of Maryland lacrosse player Joe Cummings and Virginia Tech lacrosse player Ryan Rotanz have been selected as the 2012 “YRL Unsung Hero Award” recipients. The award is given annually to one male and one female lacrosse player within the Atlantic Coast Conference for his/her dedication to leadership, community service, and being a positive role model on and off the field.
Cummings and Rotanz were selected for the award by the One Love Foundation from a pool of applicants in the ACC who were nominated by their coaches and teammates. Both student-athletes possess the qualities that Yeardley so humbly displayed and will each receive an engraved silver bowl recognizing their achievements. In addition, the One Love Foundation will make a $250 donation in their name to the charity of their choice.
Rotanz, a native of Salem, Va., started on attack for the Hokies in all 17 of their games, finishing fourth on the team in scoring with 32 points (22 goals and 10 assists). During her four years on the Virginia Tech lacrosse team, she became an uplifting and inspiring personality for her teammates and the community. She traveled to Vietnam in the summer of 2011 to teach young children through the “Coach for College” program, a global initiative to promote higher education through sports. Rotanz also frequently participated with her team on visits to the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital in Roanoke, Va., in the effort to boost the spirits of critically ill children.
A Towson, Md. native, Cummings is a senior captain for the Terps lacrosse team that will face Duke in Saturday’s NCAA Division I semifinals at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. He was an All-American selection in 2011 and currently leads the team in points with 45 (30 goals, 15 assists). Earlier this month, Cummings was selected as the 2012 Maryland Athlete of the Year.
Off the field, Cummings has been active in the community throughout his college career. He had a hand in coordinating the Big Brothers Program for the Maryland lacrosse team with Hyattsville Elementary School and is an active mentor and coach at the Baltimore Christian School. A 2011 recipient of the Maryland President’s Award for Community Service, Cummings helped organize the inaugural Forever Young Pancreatic Cancer Memorial Walk/Run in memory of former teammate Ryan Young’s mother, Maria, who passed away in April 2011. He is a finalist for this year’s Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Both Cummings and Rotanz have held positions as their team’s representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which provides insight on the student-athlete experience and gives student-athletes the opportunity to provide their input on legislative decisions that will affect their academic and athletics endeavors.
The One Love Foundation was created by the Love family to encourage and develop in children and young adults four qualities that Yeardley exemplified – service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship. The Foundation would like to “bring out the Yeardley” in everyone by igniting the spirit of One Love in students and young adults, encouraging them to choose a path of goodness. Its’ mission is to keep Yeardley’s spirit alive in others by promoting strength of character, service and education.
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