RUTHERFORD, N.J. – With Thanksgiving, and five games, in its rearview mirror, the Felician University women's basketball team is spending the early days of December weathering the season's first snowfall and preparing for the beginning of Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action.
But before the obligations of another regular season began, Felician team members made their annual stop at the Rutherford Ragamuffin Parade.
Held yearly by the Borough of Rutherford (N.J.)'s Recreation Department on the Saturday before Halloween, the Ragamuffin Parade allows borough youngsters to march through the town in full costume. The event starts at Rutherford High School and ends at Lincoln Park. This year's event was run on October 26.
For the 12th consecutive year, the Golden Falcons volunteered to assist the Borough in operating the parade. The Felician players, also dressed in Halloween costumes, acted as chaperones throughout the route. Once at Lincoln Park, the Golden Falcons helped by giving out candy and serving as costume contest judges.
With seven freshmen and a first-year transfer on the 2019-20 roster, several Felician team member were experiencing the event for the first time.
"The whole thing was adorable!" said freshman forward Rosie Arias (Linden, N.J./Linden). "I got to hold hands with a baby, which was very cute. It was nice to have time together with my teammates outside of basketball and bring people happiness."
Another Golden Falcon newcomer, freshman guard Janea Kelty (West Milford, N.J./St. Mary-Rutherford) welcomed the opportunity to connect with potential fans.
"Seeing the kids' reactions when we complimented their costumes was special," Kelty said. "It's nice to get out and see that there's a community outside of us. I have a goal to be an educator, so that morning also felt like it could be a glimpse into my future."
Rutherford is home to one of Felician's two Bergen County campuses. The Felician Rutherford campus hosts the University's athletics department offices and residence halls. It is also home to the recently-refurbished Iviswold Castle and the new Education Commons building.
Community service has been a calling card of the Felician teams run by 12th-year head coach Steve Fagan. In late September team members volunteered at the Steven Siller Tunnel To Towers 5K Run and Walk. At its first home conference game on December 7, the Golden Falcons will sponsor a holiday food drive. An anti-cancer fundraiser is slated for the spring semester.
"Community service adds to the team concept and broadens it," Kelty said. "Coach Fagan is always stressing that we need to have each others' backs. These events reinforce that."
Felician University engages more than 2,400 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students through programs in Arts & Sciences, Business, Nursing, and Education. Universal Franciscan values of respect, social justice, and compassion form an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow's leaders. Felician University was ranked 3rd-best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey in 2018 by the PayScale.com College ROI Report and is ranked the No. 1 safest college campus in the state by niche.com. Felician University also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level. To learn more about Felician University please visit www.felician.edu.