Francesco Bartolillo is the UNBC Timberwolves' first national award winner.
That became official Wednesday night at the U Sports national men's soccer championship awards banquet in Vancouver where Bartolillo won the student-athlete community service award.
Bartolillo is a business major and as founder of the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society (TSAS) he raised close to $20,000 for various causes. To collect money for KidSport BC, which enables underprivileged youth to play sports, he started a soccer-style two-on-two tournament which makes use of a tennis net as an obstacle while players use their feet and heads to keep the ball in the air.
Last year he developed the MVP of the Month, which has raised more than $10,000 in its two-year existence. The program annually benefits a young cancer patient, and to create support Bartolillo organized fundraising events such as the Fill the Bus Bottle Drive and the TSAS Flag Football Tournament.
Bartolillo also donates his time as a youth soccer coach.
"Fran's contribution to the Timberwolves, the university, and the city of Prince George is admirable and deserves recognition," said T-wolves head coach Steve Simonson. "His on-field actions speak for themselves, but his selfless actions off the field for his fellow athletes and members of the community is why he is truly a successful student-athlete at UNBC.
"The MVP of the Month and other community initiatives that Fran has led, and what they mean to the families involved, far outweighs anything that happens on the soccer field."
The 23-year-old from Calgary is a four-time Academic All-Canadian. In his fifth and final U Sports season he led the T-wolves in goals (six) and points (10). He became the team's all-time leading goal scorer with 16 career goals and ranks second on the team list with 25 career points.
Bartolillo was chosen for the Canada West Conference student-athlete community service award on Nov. 1.