Saturday is “Community Day” at Ottawa University, and though some rain is forecast in the morning, highs are expected in the lower 70s, so area residents should feel comfortable getting out to support, as well as get to know, its university and its students.

The community is invited to enjoy some gridiron competition 6 p.m. Saturday at Peoples Bank Field as the OU Braves face-off against the Bethel College Threshers. Of course, athletic competition isn’t the only thing on tap. Participants can enjoy free barbecue — courtesy of Advantage Ford — during tailgating, which begins at 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot south of the football field. It’s a great time to pull out your favorite black-and-gold attire to support OU athletics while visiting with other Braves’ friends, neighbors and family members.

 The fun continues with the third annual Dig Gold Volleyball Match. The event is a fund-raiser for pediatric cancer during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. All proceeds from the event go to the oncology/hematology unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital to aid children suffering cancer. Numerous children from the Franklin County area have suffered from pediatric cancer and subsequently been treated for it at Children’s Mercy. OU’s volleyball team is focusing on this worthy cause and its mission: “Fight Now, So Kids Do Not Have To.” Besides the 1 p.m. Saturday volleyball competition against Sterling College the event features a silent auction on more than 30 great items, including Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting Kansas City tickets.

If these two events aren’t enough, take time to roam OU’s beautiful campus and count our blessings for having a university of this caliber to provide the economic, academic, civic, cultural and social benefits it brings to the community. The university provides a vital cornerstone to the community’s well-being. Innovation occurring at the university continues to raise the bar on the community’s reputation and well-being. Area residents can take this opportunity to see it for themselves and meet some of the literal “players” at the university who make those advancements happen every day.

— Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher