Category: Community Outreach

Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County Promote Reading

Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County  pic
Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County

Currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cliff Kigar plays on the school’s varsity lacrosse team. To give back to the Troy, New York, community, Cliff Kigar participates in Everybody WINS!, a program that involves reading to and mentoring local elementary school children on a weekly basis. The program is operated by Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County.

Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County aim to empower children and communities through education, offering programs that focus on literacy, citizenship, and civic responsibility. The Everybody WINS! mentoring program strives to foster a love of reading in elementary-school-age children by matching them with reading adults.

One-on-one weekly lunches provide the opportunity for students to practice reading and receive general mentoring from community volunteers. According to corporate partners in the Everybody WINS! program, employees who mentor report having a higher sense of morale than employees who do not volunteer.

For information about volunteering with Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County, visit


LtN Offers Access to Physical Extracurricular Activities in Costa Rica

Lacrosse the Nations pic
Lacrosse the Nations

During his time at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, Clifford (Cliff) Kigar established himself as the school’s all-time leading scorer in lacrosse. Cliff Kigar continued his lacrosse career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and remains involved with the sport through his support of Lacrosse the Nations (LtN).

Lacrosse the Nations (LtN) began in 2009 with a goal of improving the lives of children around the world through the sport of lacrosse. Expanding its services in 2012, LtN established a program in Playa Potrero, Costa Rica, where local students previously lacked access to extracurricular activities of the athletic variety. Thanks to LtN intervention, however, the children of Playa Potrero now enjoy daily physical education classes as well as an after-school lacrosse program open to students of all ages.

In an effort to provide further extracurricular options to children, LtN has partnered with Abriendo Mentes (AM), a Costa Rican nonprofit dedicated to enhancing employment and educational opportunities. After the successful introduction of its program in Playa Potrero, the organization has developed plans to expand to a nearby high school, through which LtN would reach an additional 500 students.

Participating and Donating to JDRF One Walk Events

Cliff “Clifford” Kigar is an experienced lacrosse player who uses his skills on the field to support charities like Lacrosse the Nations. Cliff Kigar also supports charities outside of the lacrosse community, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk campaign.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) works toward raising awareness and funds for diabetes research in a number of ways, including the JDRF One Walk campaign. All donations and contributions to the event help support the JDRF mission of eliminating diabetes in all its forms. Donations can be made to an individual participant or to an entire team. Any person wishing to contribute to One Walk without a specific entrant or group in mind can donate to a nearby event instead.

In lieu of monetary donations, a person can use the JDRF website to search for a local walk and sign up as an entrant. To find the nearest JDRF One Walk event, individuals simply need to enter their zip code into the JDRF search bar. The search engine provides relevant results for several months in the future.

JDRF Supports Lifesaving Research through One Walk Events

An honors student and standout lacrosse player at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, Clifford Kigar garnered honors as a first-team all-region attackman for the second season in a row. In addition to his academic and athletic pursuits, Cliff Kigar supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) through the organization’s One Walk fundraising program.

Formerly known as the Walk to Cure Diabetes, One Walk is JDRF’s flagship fundraising event and the biggest event of its kind in the world. Each year, more than 900,000 participants attend local One Walk events in over 200 communities across the United States.

Individuals can participate in One Walk by walking alone or as part of a family or corporate team. All funds raised through JDRF One Walk events are used to support the organization’s various research activities focused on developing new treatments and eventually a cure for type 1 diabetes. In the last 12 years, the fundraising program has raised over $1 billion for JDRF’s lifesaving research.