Longtime Football Assistant Coach Gary Mervis Receives National Honor for Community Service
Longtime assistant coach Gary Mervis of the St. John Fisher College football team was honored recently as Project Exile recognized him with its Outstanding Individual Contribution Award for his work within the community.
Mervis, who was recognized for his work with the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, has been an ardent support of numerous causes throughout the Rochester community and beyond. Project Exile serves to eliminate guns within the Rochester community and has resulted in the thousands of weapons being neutralized.
A member of the College's Athletics Hall of Fame, Mervis founded Camp Good Days and Special Times in 1979 in an effort to provide children with cancer the opportunity to come together in a residential camping experience to be with the only ones who could truly understand what they were going through - other children with cancer. Since its inception, Camp Good Days and Special Times has provided an outlet for nearly 50,000 children from 22 states and 35 countries. With a small group of paid employees, Camp Good Days is a volunteer-based organization. To avoid placing any additional financial burden on the families served, all of the programs are offered free of charge for the participants.
Mervis, who has received numerous national awards for his charitable endeavors including the 2016 Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Heroes Award by Cure Media Group and The Director's Community Leadership Award (DCLA) by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was instrumental in helping to begin Fisher's annual Teddi Dance for Love, which has been a fundraising tradition at the College for more than 30 years. He is also the sponsor and co-founder of the Fisher Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the driving force behind the creation of the Courage Bowl, Fisher's annual game dedicated to the children of Camp Good Days, which has been played annually since 2005.