ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (Feb. 18, 2014) – In 2003, NCAA Division II formed an alliance with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in order to connect student-athletes directly to a charitable cause. Since then, student-athletes at NCAA Division II institutions nationwide have put their rivalries aside and channeled their competitive spirits toward a common goal – raising money for Make-A-Wish. For 2013, NCAA Division II chose five institutions that achieved exemplary fundraising results and rewarded them with the opportunity to host an on-campus wish party. The party allowed each institution to witness first-hand the life-changing impact of a wish. On Saturday, February 15, Molloy College, hosted one of the five celebrations, when Alexander, a 14-year-old boy from Brooklyn, N.Y., and his family came to campus.
“We are honored to have NCAA Division II on our team,” said Anne Travous, Corporate Alliances Manager at Make-A-Wish. “Each and every student-athlete participant in the alliance has made it possible for Make-A-Wish to grant more wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
Alexander arrived on campus and first met the members of Molloy’s men’s basketball team. At a press conference afterwards, he joined the team and was given his own No. 45 jersey, with “Alexander” stitched across the back. He took part in the team’s warm-up drills, pre-game locker room meeting and was introduced to the crowd as the team’s 6th Man at the end of the Lions’ starting lineup. He also threw up a ceremonial first tipoff. In between the warm-up drills and the starting lineups, Alexander was presented with tickets to a New York Knicks versus Miami Heat game in Miami, Florida, making his wish come true. The Make-A-Wish Foundation secured the airfare and game tickets for him and his family. He also received gear and apparel from Molloy and its opponent, St. Thomas Aquinas College. Once the game began, Alexander sat on the bench with his new teammates.
“This was a great day for our student-athletes, Molloy College and our athletic department,” said Molloy Director of Athletics Susan Cassidy-Lyke. “Seeing all their hard work come to fruition was so rewarding for the student-athletes and energizes them to do it again. It was great to be a part of this wonderful day for Alex.”
The NCAA Division II alliance has generated nearly $3 million dollars in total for Make-A-Wish; $517,000 in the 2013 fiscal year alone. Fundraising at each institution is coordinated by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is comprised of student-athletes from each sport.
In the 2012-13 academic year, the Molloy College Athletics Department raised over $12,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which was more than any other NCAA Division II institution.
To view a photo gallery of the day’s events, please click the link above or click here.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.