June 3, 2014

Bobcat Athletics Earns Make-A-Wish Honor

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – For the third-straight season, the Georgia College Department of Athletics was recognized with the Make-A-Wish Most Improved Award by the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) office.

The Bobcats, led by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) under the guidance of Assistant Athletic Director Ginger Chaffinch, have had an amazing turnaround in raising funds for the NCAA Division II partnership philanthropy.

In the 2010-11 season, the Bobcats raised $500 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, boosting that number up to $2,434 the following year to take Most Improved honors the first time. The Bobcats made the jump to $4,237 during the 2012-13 school year, and pulled in an amazing $9,385 this past year.

Led by president Shanteona Keys (Roswell, Ga.) from women’s basketball, vice president Allison Lones (Kathleen, Ga.) of women’s cross country and secretary Enisha Donley (Loganville, Ga.) of women’s basketball, the Georgia College SAAC raised funds through multiple events, including a year-long raffle, the Student-Athlete Semi-Formal, the Milledgeville Open Tennis Tournament and others.

The Bobcats finished second overall this season in Make-A-Wish funds, behind only the University of North Georgia.

Overall, Peach Belt Conference members raised $49,508 up almost $16,000 from last year’s conference total with 10 out of 14 schools giving a thousand or more.  The PBC should remain a contender for the national award for conference giving, the league was ranked third in the nation last year.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.  Born in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill  his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity I the world, with 66 chapters in the United States and its territories.  Led by the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Division II schools raised $517,465 for the Make-A-Wish campaign during 2012-13, besting the previous year’s efforts by almost $50,000 and setting a Division II fundraising record.

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.

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.