Finding charity in fantasy sports

GVL / Courtesy - Fantasy Sports for Charity at GVSU

GVL / Courtesy – Fantasy Sports for Charity at GVSU

Katherine West

To many people, fantasy sports is a way of life. With the help of the Grand Valley State University Fantasy Sports for Charity Club, this year, fantasy sports will mean a little more for those in need.

The Fantasy Sports for Charity Club participates in fantasy sports such as fantasy football and the March Madness tournament. The winners of these fantasy sports and tournaments in each league get to donate their winnings to the nonprofit charity of their choice. The mission of Fantasy Sports for Charity Club is to combine the fun of playing fantasy sports and the charitable act of donating for a good cause.

The club will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its founding in January. President Autumn Decker and some of her friends founded the club at GVSU.

“Being part of Fantasy Sports for Charity has been a fun, rewarding learning experience that has shaped me for the better,” Decker said.

The founders and members of the club are currently trying to raise awareness of the club around campus. Due to the newness of the club, this semester has been a sort of trial run.

“We have mostly been focusing on drumming up interest in the club, so we have had a few meetings in various classrooms around campus,” Decker said.

This semester was the first time Fantasy Sports for Charity Club held an event. They raised $180 by participating in fantasy football. They expect to raise more than that in their March Madness tournament, Decker said.

“We have yet to donate to any charities because we are so new, but members have expressed interest in a lot of animal, cancer and faith-based charities,” Decker said.

The members of the club are very passionate about it. They see this club as a great way to enjoy hobbies and passion for sports while giving back to a charity and positively impacting the lives of others.

“It’s a very cool thing we have going on here,” said Ryan Schemmel, a member of the club. “Obviously, giving to charity is always a good thing to do, but usually you just give the money or donate some time. With the Fantasy Sports for Charity, you really get involved. The competition, while all friendly, can be really intense and you really feel like you are fighting for a cause. But the best part of it all is that the winner gets to choose the charity of their choice to donate to. I have some charities in mind that I would definitely want to give to and playing for them just makes it that much more enjoyable to play Fantasy Sports. I will definitely be participating in the future.”

Students interested in participating in Fantasy Sports for Charity Club should contact Autumn Decker at [email protected]. For more information, find the organization on OrgSync or Facebook.