Dec. 23, 2013
OREM, Utah - The Utah Valley University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) stepped up to the plate this holiday season and raised over $3,000 worth of toys and cash donations during the Western Athletic Conference's SAAC Holiday Toy Drive. UVU SAAC presented its contributions to Toys for Tots last week.
"We were very fortunate to be able to work with a great foundation like Toys for Tots. It was really neat to be able to get all of the student-athletes involved as well as some of the student body," UVU SAAC Vice President Heather Mathison, a junior on the women's golf team, said. "It was a very good experience and we were thrilled to be able help make Christmas possible for a number of local families."
In all, the Wolverine SAAC raised $3,111.95 worth of toys and cash donations to give to local children who are in need of assistance this holiday season. The UVU baseball team led the way as it raised more proceeds than any other team. Baseball helped earn more than $500 of toys and cash donations.
The local U.S. Marine Corps Reserve branch was so pleased with UVU's generous donation that they recently presented the Wolverine SAAC with a Commander's Award.
The toy drive kicked off at UVU's Got Talent, a talent show that was organized by Wolverine student-athletes in early November. At that show, the athletes showcased their talents through music, dance and comedy in front of a packed crowd at UVU's Ragan Theatre.
The drive continued into the month of December and culminated at a Wolverine men's basketball game on Dec. 7 where fans were encouraged to bring a new toy in exchange for free admission to the contest.
During the drive, the student-athletes looked to their friends, family members, fellow classmates and fans to help aid this cause.
"The community as well as the student body really got behind us and helped us out," Mathison added. "We (UVU SAAC) just want to let the Marines know how much we appreciated all the help they gave us and want to give them a big `thank you' from all of us. We enjoyed this project so much and we're hoping to be able to make it a new Wolverine tradition."
All nine schools in the WAC participated in the Holiday Toy Drive and the conference will announce which school raised the most proceeds at the upcoming WAC Basketball Tournament in March.