WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia Department of Intercollegiate Athletics fundraised $1,000.50 for Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic during the 2016-17 academic year.
"Thank you [UDC Athletics] for making a difference in the life of a local child through your fundraising efforts for Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic," said Patricia Gill, Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic. "Together with your help, we can transform the lives of sick children and their families at a time they need it most."
The UDC Athletic Department raised the money via two department-wide fundraising events. The first was a Potbelly Sandwich Works Fundraiser during the month of September, 2016, and the second was a Penny Wars Fundraiser held during one week in April, 2017. The Potbelly fundraiser raised $651.50, and the Penny Wars Fundraiser raised $349.
Since 1983, Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic has granted the wishes of more than 8,800 local children in the District of Columbia, Maryland and northern Virginia. However, currently more than 600 local kids are waiting for their one true wish, and approximately 840 children are expected to be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the Mid-Atlantic region this year.
The Firebirds' fundraising efforts will be included in the East Coast Conference and NCAA Division II nation-wide fundraising totals for the 2016-17 academic year. Those totals will be announced at a later date.
Last year, Division II schools raised more than $608,000 for Make-A-Wish, marking the fifth consecutive year the division set a fundraising record. The division has raised more than $4.7 million for Make-A-Wish since beginning its partnership with the nonprofit 13 years ago. Those funds have been used to grant more than 590 wishes for children around the country who face life-threatening medical conditions.
The Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee established the partnership with Make-A-Wish in 2003 and continues to drive the division-wide initiative. SAAC continues to use a model adopted in 2014-15 in which money collected from championship and enforcement fines are added to institutional fundraising totals to allow institutions the opportunity to host a wish reveal party on campus. (A wish reveal party is a celebration when a child learns that his or her one true wish will be granted) In 2015-16, five schools raised above the national average cost of a wish reveal - $9,500 – and automatically earned a wish reveal party. For an additional 21 schools, which all raised $5,000 or more, SAAC awarded money from the fines to help them meet the minimum fundraising requirement for a wish reveal.
The ECC was the first Division II conference office to fundraise over $7,000 in an academic year when it raised $7,495 in 2014-15 and earned the opportunity to host a Wish Reveal Party. UDC had the good fortune of having the ECC's wish reveal event on its campus while it hosted the East Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championship Tournament in March 2016.