Wisconsin Rugby Player Devoted to Helping Others

February 21, 2020

Throughout his time on campus, University of Wisconsin rugby player Jack Russell has made a mark by giving back to the local community. His work raising money for childhood cancer research, his commitment to supporting low-income students on campus, and his work at local food pantries, led Russell to be nominated for the 2019 Penn Mutual Life of Significance Award—an award given to a collegiate rugby player that demonstrates the shared values of integrity, respect, loyalty and community.

As part of a fundraising event for childhood cancer research, Russell shaved his head, along with members of his fraternity. The fraternity raised a record $116,000 for the St. Baldrick’s foundation.

“It was very gratifying to break the record alongside the brothers in my fraternity,” Russell said.

Russell’s commitment to others extends to local students on and off campus. During his time in Madison, Russell created and organized a charitable 5k called the “Chubby Turkey Trot.” The event had participants, remove layers of clothing and place them in bins to be donated Caring Closet a local organization that supports underprivileged students.

Russell also spends time at two local food pantries.

“I might have this little thing wrong in my life but other people may not have food to eat or clothes to wear,” Russell added. “It is all about keeping that perspective, being selfless and helping out other people.”

For his efforts giving back to the community, Jack was nominated for the 2019 Penn Mutual Life of Significance Award. His commitment to helping others has made him stand out amongst his peers.

“Everything Jack does, he does with a purpose and that purpose is to help others,” said team leader and teammate Jacob Droezler. “He has giving ingrained in his DNA.”

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