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DII raises over $474,000 for Make-A-Wish

Member schools’ efforts part of division’s annual fundraiser.

Twenty-two Division II schools raised enough Make-A-Wish funds in 2017-18 to host a wish reveal on their campuses. Shippensburg recently hosted a wish reveal it earned during the 2016-17 academic year, where 7-year-old Liam Kepner's wish to go to LEGOLAND was granted.

As part of their partnership with Make-A-Wish, Division II schools raised more than $474,000 for the nonprofit organization during the 2017-18 academic year. Since the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee began its relationship with Make-A-Wish in 2003, the division has raised more than $5.7 million, helping the organization grant wishes to 697 kids across the country with life-threatening medical conditions.

Schools from all 24 Division II conferences participated in fundraising for Make-A-Wish, including every member of the South Atlantic Conference and more than 90 percent participation from the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference was the top fundraising conference for the fourth consecutive year, raising $70,961. North Georgia remained the top fundraising school for the third straight year, surpassing its total from last year by raising $31,875.

SAAC continued to use an allocation model adopted three years ago, which earmarks money collected from Division II championships and enforcement fines as a supplement to institutional fundraising to help institutions host a wish reveal celebration on campus. In the 2017-18 academic year, nine schools raised more than $10,000 — the national average cost of granting a wish — and automatically earned a wish reveal celebration. In addition to those nine, 13 schools raised more than $5,000 and received money from the allocation model to help them meet the minimum fundraising requirement for hosting a wish reveal.

Josh Shapiro, Division II SAAC chair and current baseball student-athlete at Colorado Mesa, said it is “an unbelievable privilege” to help the Make-A-Wish children and their families when they need it most. “It’s great to see the continued support for such a great cause and a remarkable organization," he said. 

Year after year, Division II has shown its support for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, highlighting how it aligns with the division’s mission of ensuring student-athletes live a life balanced among academics, athletics and community engagement. The partnership presents student-athletes with an opportunity to see how their commitment to giving back pays off on a national scale.

“The Make-A-Wish and Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee partnership truly highlights the values and goals within the division,” Shapiro said. “Student-athletes all across the division have shown that they are passionate about helping children in need.”

Top schools:

University of North Georgia 31,875.00
Lindenwood University 13,102.22
University of California, San Diego 11,417.70
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 10,281.25
West Chester University of Pennsylvania 10,062.37
Seton Hill University 10,000.90
Gannon University 10,000.00
Grand Valley State University 10,000.00
Missouri Western State University 10,000.00
Mississippi College 9,500.00
Georgia College 8,608.32
Union University 8,500.00
Southern Arkansas University 8,098.68
Tarleton State University 7,000.00
University of Findlay 6,600.00
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 6,533.42
Lynn University 6,300.00
Lenoir-Rhyne University 6,002.05
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 5,822.02
Texas A&M University-Commerce 5,632.83
Holy Names University 5,600.00
Tusculum University 5,200.00

Conference rankings

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 70,961.67
Peach Belt Conference 52,406.92
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 34,839.80
South Atlantic Conference 32,844.73
Gulf South Conference 27,083.80
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 22,974.33
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 22,191.83
Great Midwest Athletic Conference 19,604.13
California Collegiate Athletic Association 19,408.51
Great American Conference 17,604.47
Lone Star Conference 15,328.38
Pacific West Conference 14,592.80
Sunshine State Conference 11,411.58
Conference Carolinas 11,014.77
East Coast Conference 10,760.04
Northeast-10 Conference 9,076.85
Heartland Conference 7,888.00
Great Lakes Valley Conference 7,753.43
Great Northwest Athletic Conference 7,042.93
Mountain East Conference 6,956.25
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 5,873.00
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 4,307.00
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference 2,393.66
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association 2,212.00
Independents 0.00