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Edinboro leads PSAC in annual Make-A-Wish fund drive


Edinboro University student athletes raised $9,424 in their annual fund drive benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the most of any school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). In total, PSAC raised $42,100 that will go to granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“I’m really proud of our student athletes coming through for these kids,” said Director of Athletics Bruce Baumgartner. “It’s a real testament to the quality of people we have here on campus. To work so hard to make a kid’s life a little better, giving of their personal time to help raise this money. I couldn’t be happier with our students.”

Coordinated by the Edinboro Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with assistance from Dr. Timothy Thompson’s Organizational Communication class, the effort involved collecting donations at every home athletic event and fundraising efforts like the fifth annual Student-Athlete Auction, volleyball and basketball tournaments, and raffles.

Dustin Thomas, the University’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was thrilled with the results of this year’s fundraiser, noting the growth he’s seen in his years as a student athlete on the cross country and track & field teams. “I think it’s great. My first year, we raised just under $2,000, and then you get to this year, just four years later, and we raised over $9,000,” Thomas said. “I think it’s great to see how the student athletes and the University can come together to raise money for a great cause.”

Each of the 16 schools in the PSAC participated in the fundraising campaign as part of the ongoing philanthropic alliance between NCAA Division II and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Following Edinboro in money raised were Shippensburg University ($7,168) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania ($6,591).

According to Thompson, collaboration was the key to the success of this year’s campaign. “This was the sixth year that my Organizational Communications students organized the fundraiser, and it was by far the most successful,” he said. “We had students from the university's Greek system in the class who organized a jail-and-bail fundraiser.  Other students organized events at Buffalo Wild Wings, a three-on-three basketball tourney, raffles and shirt sales.”

The collaborative effort between student athletics and communications students was so successful that it already has Thompson looking ahead to next year’s Wake-A-Wish fundraiser, with the professor adding, “This was a wonderful partnership and we look forward to future team efforts.”