SAAC volleyball tournament raises money for Make-a-Wish

Spike: Two teams facing of in the first round of the six-on-six volleyball tournament. SAAC and Phi Delta Theta organized the tournament to raise funds for Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Benjamin Anderson

Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Phi Delta Theta hosted a sand volleyball tournament to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation Oct. 16 at the Phi Delta Theta house.

According to SAAC’s web page, SAAC members help connect student-athlete to happenings on campus and in conferences. SAAC provides a voice for Division II athletes across the nation. They have organized and participated in many events here in Topeka, including other sporting events and home repairs around the city.

“In the past we have done Books with Bods, which is a reading program we do at local elementary schools,” Brittany Simmerman said, assistant athletic director at Washburn University. “Each individual sport does their own community service and outreach.”

Natalie Bates, SAAC president, found out about helping with Make-a Wish at a SAAC conference.

Make-a-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money to grant wishes to children with terminal illnesses.

“Wishes are more than just a nice thing,” according to the Make-a-Wish mission statement. “They are far more than gifts, or singular events in time. Wishes impact everyone involved – wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities.”

SAAC is hoping to raise the money to grant a wish to a local child.

“This year we got a kid that we kind of adopted, he’s six years old and a has life threatening condition, so we’re raising money to grant a wish that he has,” Bates said. “We contacted Phi Delta Theta because we wanted to be more involved with other organizations on campus, and they had a sand volley ball court. They agreed and have been super, super helpful.”

According to Simmerman, Make-a-Wish is NCAA Division II’s charity of choice.

“Every Division II school that has a SAAC has the choice to raise money for Make-a-Wish,” Simmerman said. “We have never raised money for Make-a-Wish, so this is something new, kind of a new challenge for us to take on.”

Simmerman wanted to make note that SAAC is also hosting an upcoming dodgeball tournament and to be on the lookout for that. SAAC’s goal for this fundraiser is to raise $8,000 for Make-a-Wish. They have currently raised about half of that.

“Anything anyone can do and help us out, like coming out to dodge ball and support us, would be awesome,” Simmerman said.

Be sure to check your Washburn email for more information about upcoming fundraisers hosted by SAAC. For more information about the Make-a-Wish foundation you can visit their website at