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CAC Hosts ACCESS Gators and First Day of Service

ACCESS Gators Track MeetCAC’s junior and senior high school Mustangs will layer on their purple and green garb again next Friday, April 25 as they welcome back the ACCESS Gators at the annual ACCESS Gators Track Meet.

Similar to past years, the meet will be hosted at the high school track and will begin with CAC junior and high school students forming a victory line for the Gators to run through as they make their way to the track.

Stuart Cash, leader of Mustang Missions, said a coach from the ACCESS school, a Little Rock school serving students with developmental delays and learning disabilities, reached out about four years ago to see if CAC would be interested in cheering on the school’s track team. Since then, the event has exploded.

“We dress up in green and purple, we have super fans, we paint our faces and make signs,” Cash said. “[The Gators] do all of their events and we cheer them on. Each kid even has their own fan crew of 20 to 25 CAC kids with shirts and posters with their names on it. They’ll sign autographs for our kids – it’s their special day to be the stars.”

Access GatorsWhile in the past the event has been open to only Mustang Missions participants, this year, all seventh through 12th grade students are invited to participate, growing the Gator’s fanbase from around 200 to more than 400 CAC students.

“Its one of those days where you try to reach out and serve those kids, but in reality, you walk away as the one being served,” Cash said.

In past years, CAC students have returned to class after lunch. This year, however, the theme of service will continue throughout the remainder of the day, as students will spend the afternoon serving the community at various locations around Little Rock.

Cash said he hopes the day of service will help students discover more opportunities to get plugged into the city and more ways to serve outside of school.

Sign-ups for locations will take place the week of April 21. Students will have the option to choose from a number of non-profit organizations including Little Rock Parks and Recreation, Oak Grove Life Center and Recycle Bikes for Kids.

Junior Danielle McGill said she’s excited about the opportunity for the full campus to serve alongside Mustang Missions, since that has not always been a possibility before.

McGill said she loves opportunities like ACCESS Gators because she gets to directly see the impact she can have on a person’s life.

“Donating money is one thing,” McGill said, “But actually being able to see what you’re doing in another person’s life and seeing that smile on their face – it just makes all the difference… and it makes me super happy.”