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DII sets another Make-A-Wish fundraising record

Members raise $634,000 to reach new high for 6th straight year

Twenty-five Division II schools raised enough Make-A-Wish funds in 2015-16 to host a wish reveal on campus. One of those wish reveals took place last spring at Lindenwood (Missouri), where student-athletes presented 11-year-old Carissa with a Disney cruise vacation.

Division II schools raised more than $634,000 for Make-A-Wish during the 2016-17 academic year. The amount raised sets a new Division II fundraising record for the sixth consecutive year and exceeds last year’s total by $26,000.

Since the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee established the partnership with Make-A-Wish in 2003, the division has raised over $5.3 million for the nonprofit organization. Those funds have been used to grant wishes to more than 660 kids across the country with life-threatening medical conditions.

“Division II values its partnership with Make-A-Wish and loves the ability to support an organization that does so much good for so many people,” said Jasmyn Lindsay, a former softball student-athlete at Queens (North Carolina) and Division II SAAC chair. “As student-athletes, we know that we face struggles and adversity, but these obstacles oftentimes pale in comparison to what a Make-A-Wish family is going through. We are fortunate to have campuses and communities that support us, and we want to give that back to families who are facing hard times.”

More than 81 percent of the Division II schools participated in raising money for Make-A-Wish. More than 250 schools from all 24 Division II conferences participated, including 100 percent participation from three conferences: Great Midwest Athletic Conference, Heartland Conference and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, the top fundraising conference, raised $70,210, marking the first time a conference office has surpassed $70,000. At the campus level, the previous year's leader, North Georgia, remains at the top, bringing in $26,000.

The alliance with Make-A-Wish also provides student-athletes with the opportunity to see their hard work pay off. SAAC continued a model adopted two years ago in which money collected from championship and enforcement fines are added to institutional fundraising in order for institutions to have the opportunity to host a wish reveal party on campus. In 2016-17, eight institutions raised more than $10,000 — the national average cost of a wish reveal — and automatically earned a wish reveal party. An additional 22 schools raised over $4,000 and will receive money from the fines to help them meet the minimum fundraising requirement for a wish reveal.

“If you ever have any doubt that the fundraising we do has an impact on children and their families, just watch a wish reveal,” Lindsay said. “The elation and gratitude that is shown by these families makes everything we do worth it. These wish reveals can change a child’s outlook on their oftentimes bleak situation, and seeing that is priceless.”

Top 30 Institutions:

University of North Georgia
$26,000.05
Nova Southeastern University
$22,050.00
Mississippi College
$19,184.11
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
$13,905.29
Lee University
$11,412.01
University of California, San Diego
$11,076.99
California University of Pennsylvania
$10,475.01
Grand Valley State University
$10,000.00
Lindenwood University
$8,722.23
Flagler College
$8,427.00
Harding University
$8,061.35
Lubbock Christian University
$8,000.00
University of Findlay
$7,500.00
Texas A&M University-Commerce
$7,090.81
Stonehill College
$6,660.40
University of New Haven
$6,403.95
California State University, Stanislaus
$6,012.40
Pittsburg State University
$5,736.67
Delta State University
$5,641.00
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
$5,548.56
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
$5,404.00
Oklahoma Baptist University
$5,230.35
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
$5,098.24
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
$5,004.86
Tusculum College
$5,000.00
Notre Dame College (Ohio)
$4,284.86
Missouri University of Science and Technology
$4,259.10
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
$4,159.59
University of Indianapolis
$4,147.00
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
$4,000.00

Conference Rankings:

RANKING
CONFERENCE
TOTAL
1
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
$70,210.53
2
Gulf South Conference
$45,551.61
3
Peach Belt Conference
$45,428.47
4
Sunshine State Conference
$31,933.06
5
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
$29,058.65
6
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association
$28,443.14
7
California Collegiate Athletic Association
$27,238.13
8
Northeast-10 Conference
$24,409.59
9
Great American Conference
$22,931.58
10
South Atlantic Conference
$22,792.95
11
Lone Star Conference
$19,776.00
12
Pacific West Conference
$19,462.12
13
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
$18,793.30
14
Great Lakes Valley Conference
$17,095.41
15
Heartland Conference
$16,128.12
16
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
$12,295.63
17
East Coast Conference
$12,019.91
18
Conference Carolinas
$11,535.06
19
Mountain East Conference
$9,957.09
20
Great Midwest Athletic Conference
$7,492.17
21
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
$7,226.64
22
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
$4,984.00
23
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
$3,403.73
24
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
$1,752.00
25
Independents
$128.00