SAAC provides student athletes with volunteer opportunities

Washburn Review

Updated: Oct. 31

Partnered with Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee held one of their many charity events last Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Phi Delta Theta sand volleyball court.

The event, a charity volleyball tournament, is in its third year of existence as a part of SAAC’s efforts to involve student athletes in community service. Student athletes competed against each other for an afternoon of fun and community with each other.

“The weather was perfect,” said SAAC president Daniel Reilly, a senior kinesiology student and baseball player. “We’ve been doing this tournament for three years now, and it’s always a fun time to get together and meet team members from sports other than our own.”

Money raised from the event through participation fees goes directly to a child in need through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“As student athletes, we are required to have so many community service and volunteer hours in a year. One of SAAC’s missions is to go above and beyond that call by organizing events and fundraisers throughout the year.” Reilly said. “I’ve been a member for three years, and it’s a great way for student athletes to support each other.”

Reilly stated that as student athletes, their schedules don’t always allow for much campus involvement outside of sports due to morning classes and afternoon practices. One of the solutions SAAC has to this is hosting their own Career Fair and Resume Roadshow for athletes.

“We bring in professionals from all different areas, not just sports related careers. For example, a couple of our members are in forensic science, so we make sure to cater to them as well.” Reilly said. “We just host it at a time that is more convenient for our schedules.”

SAAC works throughout the year to provide volunteer opportunities for student athletes. In October, SAAC puts on a “reverse trick-or-treat” for children at Stormont Vail Hospital in which they bring candy to hand out to the kids at the hospital.

“Halloween is supposed to be a time of make believe for all ages, and for the few who are too sick to participate in it, they miss out on all that.” said Kolton Meyer, senior baseball player and secondary history education major. “For us to be able to bring them even a little taste of that fun is a huge accomplishment.”

In December, they hold a toy drive or participate in Project Warmth by gathering clothes to donate to local shelters. In the Spring, SAAC partners with Sheltered Living to put on Bowling With Bods, an event to connect Washburn student athletes with kids in the Topeka community who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Later this November, SAAC will be hosting a charity dodgeball tournament at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

“The volleyball tournament was a tune up for our biggest fundraiser of the semester, which is our Dodgeball Tournament,” said Brittany Lauritsen, assistant athletic director.

The proceeds from this upcoming and larger tournament will be going to the same child receiving funds raised from the volleyball tournament. While participation is reserved for student athletes, the public is welcome to come watch.

Updated information: This November’s dodgeball tournament in open to all students.