One of the five core values of the NAIA's Champions of Character program is servant leadership. The main pretense is to "serve the common good" and to put the leadership into action.
This past academic year, the Peru State Bobcat student-athletes and staff members compiled over 3,800 hours of documented community service. The recorded total was 3,827.08 hours. Athletic department officials believe the number is considerably higher, but do have documentation showing the stated amount. This tops the previous yearly high total which was nearly 2,900 hours from last year.
The number of hours, as well as, the variety of service activities varied per sport. The numbers documented by sport is as follows: Football – 839.08 hours, Volleyball – 154 hours, Cross Country – 187 hours, Golf – 61 hours, Men's Basketball – 93, Women's Basketball – 276, Softball – 267, Baseball – 710, and Cheer – 723. In addition, the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and staff members recorded 412 hours.
Peru State's cheerleading team, led by head coach Brooke Earnest, was the highest-producing team on average as they compiled 723 hours over the course of the fiscal year. This averaged out to nearly 35 hours per cheerleader. The cheerleaders provided community service efforts at least 21 different times throughout the years which included reading to elementary students in three different school systems.

The Bobcat baseball team, led by athletic director and head coach Wayne Albury, had the second-highest average per capita as they racked up 710 hours. This was over 20 hours per individual as the team accumulated nearly 500 hours more than last year.
The football team, under the direction of head coach Steve Schneider, had the highest total among the nine teams with 839.08 hours.
Most of the teams participated at least one time or another in the College's Feeding 44 program while several teams also assisted with Food Bank Back-Pack program in Auburn. In addition, almost all of the teams participated in the College's collaborative effort with the City of Peru in the annual city-wide clean-up which takes place one week prior to the College's commencement ceremonies. All of the teams participated in the College's Glow Walk last October.
One event which allowed a number of the teams to add to their totals were the various efforts which involved the March flooding. Many teams stepped up to fill sand bags while others provided additional assistance throughout the spring unloading trucks as they came in or helping with the open hours for community members to secure supplies.
SAAC members assisted with the Nemaha County Gives Back effort last December, as well as, helping with the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event in April. Following the walk, SAAC hosted a dodge ball tournament to help raise additional funds for Project Response.
Other activities included the volleyball team providing manicures to residents at Good Sam in Auburn; and the football team assisting the freshmen moving into the residence halls. Cross country team members helped coach Auburn City Rec girls' basketball while golf team members helped decorate windows for the Neighborhood Closet. The men's basketball team visited the Northside Elementary in Nebraska City where they assisted with physical education classes and recess. The women's basketball team helped with numerous activities including assisting with the Auburn Backpack Program Soup Supper. The softball team continued its tradition of assisting with decorating the College campus for the holidays and also helping with the Auburn Christmas opening. The baseball team assisted at the Apple Jack Festival in Nebraska City by parking cars last September.

SAAC members Maddy McPhillips (Omaha) and Emily Whipple (Lincoln) co-chaired the group's community service committee. Also serving the committee were Dan Boshart (Wood River), Isaac Simpson (Papillion), Chaz Dunn (Falls City), and Ally Hazen (Wood River).
McPhillips, a member of the women's basketball team, noted, "While helping with numerous service projects this past year, I believe it has helped not only our team, but most all of the student-athletes, in terms of developing a sense of community."
Hazen, a Bobcat softball player, who will be SAAC's president this year, added, "As part of the NAIA's Champions of Character initiative, we encourage all student-athletes to help in at least one community service effort each year. Obviously, our teammates and colleagues went above and beyond."
Spencer Vogt, Assistant Professor of Education, serves as one of SAAC's co-advisers and was instrumental in working with SAAC and its student-athletes in its community service efforts. SAAC's other co-adviser, Ted L. Harshbarger, helped lead many efforts and compiles all of the information on all of the various community service activities.