GVSU SAAC hosts charity dodge-ball tournament

GVSU SAAC hosts charity dodge-ball tournament

Brendan McMahon

There may be no trophy or titles for accomplishments off the field, but the Grand Valley State student-athletes and members of the GVSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in particular convey the same pride an enthusiasm while making a big difference in the community as they do on the athletic fields.

The GVSU SAAC is made up of a select group of student-athletes acting as team representatives and board members. The student-athletes work closely with the sports administration and athletic director Keri Becker to make the SAAC a platform for open communication to enhance the athletic programs.

More importantly, the purpose of GVSU SAAC is to raise money and help support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope and joy.

“As student-athletes we just want to help out less fortunate kids,” said GVSU SAAC member Matt Williams. “Knowing we can do something to help someone out and just put a smile on their face, it’s pretty rewarding.”

The SAAC has a goal to raise $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the 2016-17 year. They are well on their way from events this past fall sports season, such as tailgates and 50/50 drawings during athletic events.

The GVSU SAAC has an opportunity to be the first SAAC in the nation to raise $10,000 for Make-A-Wish in a year. GVSU’s group is eager to accomplish that with a few more events coming up, including a penny drive that will be taking place all semester, as well as a new event coming this spring, the Anchor Awards. So far, they have raised $4500.

The SAAC took an unconventional fundraising method and got $461 closer to their goal Sunday, Jan. 29, when they hosted a dodgeball tournament in the Fieldhouse Arena.

“We knew it would be a fun social event and an efficient way to raise money,” said SAAC president Kira Dosenberry.

The SAAC was pleased with the turnout, as 12 teams competed at the tournament. The teams were composed based on the sport the individuals played—or occupation they held, referring to the team made of all staff members.

The final four consisted of a team of football players, one of volleyball players, lacrosse players and staff members. The football players and staff would both advance to compete in the championship.

The staff would be no match for team ‘What Do You Mean,’ which was made up of football players, Jalen Bryant, Pete Cender, Nick Keizer, Brian Moran, David Bolhuis and Bart Williams—someone who knows a thing or two about throwing balls.

“Everyone had a really good attitude about it,” Dosenberry said. “They knew it was for charity and had fun and pretty much got a workout in too.”

Cender, who is still nursing a sore throwing shoulder, was happy with the win, but has a greater appreciation for all those who came and made it possible to support the cause.

“SAAC is a fun group that lets you connect with a bunch of great people,” Cender said. “(SAAC events) gives me an outlet from the monotonous grind of school work and practice and lets me give back the community.”