Rubinstein Named to Sixth Annual SEC Community Service Team

March 18, 2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference sponsors a Community Service Team for each 20 sports it sponsors. The Gymnastics Community Service Team represents seven SEC gymnasts, one from each competing institution. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. 

Senior Natalie Rubinstein was nominated to represent the University of Kentucky. Rubinstein has made it a goal of hers to give back to her community as much as possible. Just this past year she aided the Salvation Army, UK Children's Hospital, American Cancer Society Hope Lodge and volunteered at Southland Christian Church and Kentucky's Special Olympics.

During the fall and winter, Rubinstein was a part of the bell ringing effort which benefits the Salvation Army. As a result of her participation she helped raise over $5,000 in just two days, the most the Salvation Army had ever collected at that location. A great deal of her time has also been spent at the UK Children's Hospital and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge is a place where individuals and families stay during their treatments at a local cancer treatment facility. Natalie visited and played games with patients as well as assisting with any projects the Hope Lodge may be working on at that time.

Rubinstein on 2009 photo day.

Rubinstein has staffed multiple food drives providing the community with needed sustenance, helping outreach centers such as God's Pantry. She also goes to a local church every Saturday and works with preschool children. Rubinstein participated in Kentucky's Special Olympics Bowling and as a team, the Wildcat gymnastics team annually partakes in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise awareness and money for research for breast cancer.

Not only does Rubinstein work hard on the team and in her community, she makes sure to do just as much in school. She was a member of the 2008 SEC Academic Honor Roll and nominated and awarded the Frank G. Hamm Society of Character Award. The mission of the Society of Character program is to recognize student-athletes who have achieved a high level in all areas of their lives, bring together these high achieving student-athletes for interactive programs, further enhance the student-athletes' best interests and well being, and to promote continued interaction with other organizations.

Also being recognized by the conference office are Ricki Lebegern (Alabama), Michelle Stout (Arkansas), A.J. Mills (Auburn), Alicia Goodwin (Florida), Marcia Newby (Georgia)and Ashleigh Clare-Kearney (LSU).

This season Rubinstein has led her team 10 times on the uneven bars after a two-year hiatus to rehabilitate from multiple injuries. She has also earned all five of her even titles this season with a career high-tying 9.900. The Hollywood, Fla., native looks to help guide the No. 22 Wildcats to the SEC Championship taking place in Nashville, Tenn., hosted at the Sommet Center Saturday, March 21. Competition is set to begin at 5 p.m. ET.