October 1, 2013

UNG & NCAA Set To Kick Off Annual Make-A-Wish Initiative

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – (UNGAthletics.com) - In conjunction with NCAA Division II’s Make-A-Wish fundraising initiative, the University of North Georgia is set to kick off its 2013-2014 fundraising efforts beginning with the Week of Wishes October 4-15.  The Week of Wishes event is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for Make-A-Wish, and the courageous kids they serve.

“UNG’s Make-A-Wish campaign is a collective effort of all branches of our campus community - faculty, staff, students and alumni,” stated Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves.  “It is such a rewarding and personalized initiative because our student-athletes can relate to dreams and wishes. Each student-athlete who represents UNG grew up with a dream or wish and being able to make a child’s dream come true strikes a chord with our department.”

The University of North Georgia has donated the highest amount of money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in two of the past three years after pledging the second most of all NCAA Division II schools in 2012-2013.   

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference led the way in fundraising during the 2012-13 academic year, with $42,100, closely followed by the Pacific West Conference with $40,267 and the Northeast-10 Conference with $34,088. This marked the first time two conferences raised more than $40,000 each.

At the school level, Molloy College led all Division II members with $12,181 raised, followed by UNG with $11,223 and Barry (Fla.) University with $10,181.

Led by the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Division II schools across the country raised $517,465 for Make-A-Wish during the 2012-13 school year, besting last year’s efforts by almost $50,000 and setting a new Division II fundraising record. Last year, more than 80 percent of the DII member schools participated in raising money for Make-A-Wish. More than 240 schools from all 24 Division II conferences participated, including 100 percent participation from five conferences.

The Department of Athletics at the University of North Georgia strives to enrich student-athletes with academic knowledge, refined athletic ability, and caring and respect for the surrounding community. This is achieved through multiple initiatives and annual projects.

The 2013-2014 year will feature a new headline fundraiser with an April 23, 2014 helicopter golf ball drop that will replace previous years’ Cow Patty Bingo.  The department will also be soliciting donations at the upcoming Gold Rush Festival on October 19-20 in downtown Dahlonega.   Additionally, throughout the entire year UNG will be selling Make-A-Wish stars and branded wristbands at numerous events as small token of appreciation for contributions to the greater cause.

Since beginning its alliance with Make-A-Wish in 2003, Division II has raised more than $3 million toward granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. These wishes can serve as a game changer in children’s fights against their illnesses, helping them feel better, and in some cases even get better.

For the upcoming 2013-14 year, Make-A-Wish is adding a new element to Division II’s fundraising efforts: a matching incentive. Every dollar that a Division II school raises beyond last year’s total will be matched, up to $1,000 per school.