Grand Canyon University captures the inaugural PacWest Make-A-Wish Award
HONOLULU, HI – Grand Canyon University is the inaugural winner of the Pacific West Conference Make-A-Wish Award.
The announcement was made during the 2011 PacWest Conference meetings held June 6-8 in Honolulu, HI.
The award recognizes PacWest institutions and their Student Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) for excelling in their efforts to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
GCU’s athletic department and SAAC committee generated more than $6,500 in funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“We initiated the PacWest Make-A-Wish Award this year to recognize the outstanding efforts of our institutions and our student-athletes who give selflessly to help bring joy to children and their families during difficult times in their lives,” Bob Hogue, commissioner of the PacWest, said. “All of our institutions and student-athletes do a tremendous job, and I am proud to present Grand Canyon with this inaugural award.”
GCU will receive a plaque commemorating its selection.
During the 2010-11 school year Grand Canyon made a concerted effort to ramp up its Make-A-Wish fundraising campaign.
The GCU administration along with the athletic department eliminated admission fees to all sporting events on campus, instead giving fans an opportunity to donate to a specific charity - usually the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The campaign was successful as Grand Canyon’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee worked the admission gate at numerous athletic events, producing more than $6,500 in funds. The money was contributed toward the overall NCAA Division II SAAC goal for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
During the 2009-10 academic year, the NCAA II SAAC oversaw the collection of $407,638 - by far the most money collected in a single campaign. The Division II SAAC has been raising money for Make-A-Wish since 2003-04 when it collected $49,957. Since then, funds raised have grown annually with total contribution to Make-A-Wish now exceeding $1.5 million.
This year at GCU, each sport also was given the opportunity to collect donations for the charity of its choice. Other charities included the American Heart Association and St. Mary’s Food Bank, to name a few.
On Feb. 17, GCU’s SAAC hosted a Make-A-Wish Night for families throughout the Valley who have a child sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The night was a huge success as six families totaling roughly 40 people came out to support the Antelope men’s and women’s basketball teams in victories vs. Hawai‘i Pacific University. Prior to the women’s game, the families enjoyed a pizza party with SAAC members.
About the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The foundation's mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 after a little boy named Chris Greicius realized his heartfelt wish to become a police officer. Since its humble beginnings, the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 250,000 children around the world.
Although it has become one of the world's most well-known charities, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has maintained the grassroots fulfillment of its mission.
A network of nearly 25,000 volunteers enable the Make-A-Wish Foundation to serve children with life-threatening medical conditions. Volunteers serve as wish granters, fundraisers, special events assistants and in numerous other capacities.
As the Foundation continues to mature, its mission will remain steadfast. Wish children of the past, present and future will have an opportunity to share the power of a wish.