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Student-Athlete Advisory Committees from the 15 American Southwest Conference campuses combined to raise a record $11,939 for local community organizations in the fifth annual “Make a Change in 14 Days” loose-coin collection project.
Sixteen different organizations received support through campus fundraising efforts conducted from Jan. 25 through Feb. 7. In the five years of the conference-wide community-service campaign, nearly $40,000 has been raised to benefit 50 different charitable organizations in ASC campus communities. In each of the past four years, the SAAC groups have topped the $8,000 mark.
“In the tough economic climate, the ASC student-athletes embraced the Make a Change in 14 Days challenge and worked at a record pace to help ensure that persons and agencies in their local areas were supported,” said Commissioner Amy Carlton. “Pairing athletics and community agencies reflects the Division III value of developing citizenship through community involvement.”
The two-week SAAC event is also designed as a challenge among the ASC member campuses and is scheduled during the turn of the conference division basketball schedule. Schreiner, Texas Lutheran, Sul Ross State and Howard Payne claimed the 2011 division pool title with a combined collection of $6,076, nearly doubling the previous record.
Schreiner was the top-collecting ASC institution, raising $2,805. Schreiner student-athletes helped raised funds for the local YMCA in Kerrville, Texas, so that children in the community can have the opportunity to be involved in sports and use state-of-the-art equipment.
“It all started by us getting motivated at the conference SAAC meeting,” said Schreiner SAAC Secretary Tom Pappas, a junior soccer and cross country student-athlete. “One of our goals at Schreiner is to involve the community more.”
The Schreiner SAAC group collected the bulk of its funds at Edington Gym on Feb. 5 and 7 as its basketball teams took on McMurry and Hardin-Simmons, respectively, in conference action. The group also made it a two-week competition among all Mountaineer sport teams to gather donations and used the help of the children from the Kerrville YMCA.
“It was a very rewarding experience (to make the presentation),” Pappas said. “It was a huge feeling of accomplishment for our SAAC members knowing that we were making an impact in those kids’ lives.”