The Make-A-Wish Foundation started in 1980 and ever since than has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. This foundation all started because of one seven-year-old little boy with leukemia’s dream to be a police officer. That dream, along with more than 167,000 others, have came true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Our student-athletes here at West Chester University understand these dreams and have recently gotten involved with one of the world’s most well known charities.SAAC, the Student Athlete Activities Council, hosted its first annual Athlete Auction last week. Twenty-four varsity athletes were “auctioned off” to the highest bidder Monday, March 23. The auction was than followed by a spaghetti dinner for five dollars a ticket. Each West Chester varsity team, except the women’s lacrosse team, who were away at a game that day, were responsible for picking one athlete on their team to auction off. Both male and female athletes were auctioned.
Golden Rams football player, James Thorpe, hosted the auction. Dressed for success, Thorpe introduced each athlete with a personal bio that either the athlete themselves wrote or their teammates wrote for them. Many were funny and witty. Each athlete walked the stage and strutted their stuff, trying to be the top prize. The event started off slow but quickly picked up with bids going higher and higher as the event went on.
Auctioning wasn’t the only way to win during this event. SAAC representatives were also able to receive many donations from local West Chester businesses which they offered as raffle prizes throughout the event. The raffles were a dollar a ticket or three dollars for ten tickets. Raffles were randomly called out throughout the auction and the dinner following the auction. Some of the prizes raffled off were West Chester athletics t-shirts, hats, and other apparel. Also, there were gift certificates from local restaurants like Barnaby’s and also hair cutting places up in town.
The Auction was held in the South Campus gyms where a stage was set up. Seats for auctioneers were set up in front of the stage. Being the first time our athletes have ever done an event like this, the turn out was very impressive. Every varsity team had a shortened practice or off that day in hopes that every athlete would be in attendance, which a majority were. Many student-athletes were excited about the auction.
“It’s a good way for our athletes to get to know one another,” Susan Curci of the track and field team said. “We should have more events like this.”
After the auction, the winners, the athletes who were auctioned, their winners, and any other students were invited to a spaghetti dinner held at the Neumann Center located down New Street toward North Campus. The spaghetti dinner was five dollars a person if you weren’t one of the auctioneers or winners of the auction. The winners went on a “date” with their athlete at the dinner.
The dinner was another good fundraiser with raffle prizes still being auctioned off. Many athletes, roommates, and friends showed up for a cheap dinner for a good cause. Even our Athletic Director Dr. Ed Matejkovic, Assistant AD, Compliance Officer, and our Sports Information Director were all in attendance.
The student athlete’s raised over one thousand dollars toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The event was a great success on both the fundraising part and entertainment part. This is just the start of an annual event that will hopefully continue to grow bigger and bigger.
Shannon Padula ia a fourth year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at SP613743@wcupa.edu.