Ellerbe was presented her award by Pioneer Athletics Director Debby De Angelis.
HAYWARD, Calif. — Dawn Ellerbe, assistant athletics director for Marketing and Promotions for Cal State East Bay Athletics, was the recipient of a Vocational Service Award from the Hayward Rotary Club May 6. Ellerbe has been at the forefront of the Pioneers' community engagement efforts over the last four years, with many accomplishments to her credit.
A former college All-American and United States Olympian in the hammer throw, Ellerbe accepted the award as part of a luncheon in downtown Hayward with community Rotarians and several members of the Pioneer Athletics staff present. She was honored as an individual working in the public sector to provide opportunities for young people and improve the quality of life in the community.
"Dawn has made herself a integral part of our community," said Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis, who presented the award. "She has taken her job of promoting CSUEB Athletics and woven it into the principle of community service, helping with literacy, the environment, health and wellness. She's truly a role model within the community."
Since coming to Cal State East Bay, Ellerbe has worked hard to increase the presence of Cal State East Bay Athletics in the local community. She started the “Read with the Pioneers” literacy program in 2010 in order to encourage at-home reading among elementary school students. The program started with 20 students. This year, 450 East Bay participants in kindergarten through sixth grade read over 205,000 pages during the one-month program.
Ellerbe also piloted the “Pioneer Play” Program with the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI) to encourage physical fitness, reaching 150 participants in three Hayward elementary schools. Additionally, she helped bring more than 1,000 youngsters to the campus to enjoy Cal State East Bay Athletics events and interact with the Pioneer student-athletes in “Youth Days at the Bay” throughout the 2012-13 school year.
An enthusiast of Zumba -- a style of exercise dance -- Ellerbe became an instructor and now leads Zumba sessions with the Pioneer swim team and the CSUEB Leadership and Employee Enrichment Program. She volunteered her time to put on a community “Zumbathon” to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Ellerbe has worked with the Hayward Promise Neighborhood project and attended Hayward Educational Foundation events. This year, she won an award from the NCAA for her “Pack the Gym” basketball game promotion that promised free Chipotle burritos for all fans, if attendance reached 1,000. She hit her mark.
Ellerbe was inducted into University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. A 12-time USA Track and field national champion, she was the first American woman to throw the hammer more than 200 feet, and she placed seventh in the world as a member of the 2000 Olympic team.