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Division II sets Make-A-Wish fundraising record

Members raised more than $608,000 during 2015-16

Division II schools raised more than $608,000 for Make-A-Wish during the 2015-16 academic year, marking the fifth consecutive year the division has set a fundraising record.

The division has raised more than $4.7 million for Make-A-Wish since beginning its partnership with the nonprofit 13 years ago. Those funds have been used to grant more than 590 wishes for children around the country who face life-threatening medical conditions. 

During the 2015-16 academic year, every conference raised funds for Make-A-Wish, with 238 Division II schools participating nationwide and in Canada. Five conferences had 100 percent participation by its members: the East Coast Conference, the Heartland Conference, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the South Atlantic Conference. Two conferences — the Peach Belt Conference and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference — set a record by raising more than $60,000 each. At the campus level, the University of North Georgia led the way by bringing in $34,000, also a record.

The Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee established the partnership with Make-A-Wish in 2003 and continues to drive the division-wide initiative. SAAC continued a model adopted last year in which money collected from championship and enforcement fines are added to institutional fundraising totals to allow institutions the opportunity to host a wish reveal party on campus. In 2015-16, five schools raised above the national average cost of a wish reveal — $9,500 — and automatically earned a wish reveal party. For an additional 21 schools, which all raised $5,000 or more, SAAC will award money from the fines to help them meet the minimum fundraising requirement for a wish reveal.

“The fundraising effort for Make-A-Wish is so important because it provides SAAC and Division II athletes the chance to realize the positive impact they can have in someone’s life,” said Christopher Pike, a former football student-athlete at Gannon University and former Division II SAAC chair. “Division II SAAC couldn’t be more pleased with this year’s Make-A-Wish efforts, and we continually hope that we as a division can keep raising the bar because together we are making a huge difference.”

Top institutions and wish reveal hosts

1. University of North Georgia $34,000
2. Lubbock Christian University $18,823
3. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania $15,557.24
4. Delta State University $11,210.70
5. Lake Superior State University $10,282.21
6. University of California, San Diego $9,202.49
7. Oklahoma Baptist University $8,649.20
8. Seton Hill University $8,212.53
9. Georgia College $8,200
10. West Texas A&M University $7,491.24
11. West Chester University of Pennsylvania $7,297.36
12. Molloy College $7,136.50
13. University of New Haven $7,035
14. Grand Valley State University $7,000
15. Lindenwood University $6,920
16. University of Findlay $6,794
17. Texas A&M University-Commerce $6,637
18. California State University, Stanislaus $6,000.45
19. Barry University $5,990
20. University of Indianapolis $5,729
21. Young Harris College $5,628.50
22. Ashland University $5,227.46
23. California State University, San Marcos $5,100
24. Millersville University of Pennsylvania $5,050
25. California State University, Chico $5,000
25. Tiffin University $5,000

Top institutions and wish reveal hosts

1. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference $66,893.48
2. Peach Belt Conference $63,208.95
3. Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference $38,660.61
4. California Collegiate Athletic Association $35,405.44
5. Great Lakes Valley Conference $26,364.22
6. Heartland Conference $25,521.83
7. South Atlantic Conference $23,884.41
8. Lone Star Conference $21,508.97
9. Gulf South Conference $20,520.36
10. Northeast-10 Conference $18,678.46
11. Pacific West Conference $16,572.58
12. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference $16,479.72
13. Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association $16,477.69
14. Great American Conference $16,055.52
15. East Coast Conference $15,536
16. Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference $14,284.92
17. Sunshine State Conference $11,208
18. Conference Carolinas $10,945.66
19. Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference $10,625.47
20. Great Midwest Athletic Conference $9,734.20
21. Mountain East Conference $8,598.60
22. Great Northwest Athletic Conference $8,167.79
23. Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference $5,449.21
24. Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association $4,070.34
25. Independents $691.50