Student athletes find new ways to impact philanthropy
TNE Editor

Student athletes find new ways to impact philanthropy

Published 1/30/19

Zac Thomas

TNE Writer

NSU student athletes are given the opportunity to serve their community and the Make-a-Wish Foundation through the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC also gives athletes the ability to be involved in campus through planning and holding events.

SAAC is a requirement by the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), and the MIAA requires that each sport on campus is represented by at least two selected representatives. The purpose is to regulate the sport while also allowing student athletes to plan and participate in events on campus.

“We try to show involvement on campus and in the community,” said Gail Young, Collinsville freshman. “We have a lot of purposes, but the ultimate goal is to represent athletes.”

Young is the SAAC president and one of the representatives for softball. She explained that SAAC does philanthropy events throughout the year that aid Make-A-Wish, the chosen philanthropy of division two colleges involved with SAAC. Along with Make-A-Wish, SAAC has held events involving the Tahlequah community such as a Trunk-or-Treat.

“We’ve had SAAC for a few years, and we are trying to get more involved,” said Jamie Hall, athletic services assistant academic director.

The most recent attempt at raising money was an event called Miracle Minute. The idea is for one minute during a sporting event, athletes collect donations in buckets and all donations going to Make-a-Wish.

Make-A-Wish is designed to grant children with critical illnesses opportunities that may have been deemed impossible.

“We tried Miracle Minute for the first time during football in the fall and it was very successful,” said Hall. “We are excited to be doing it for basketball in the spring.”

According to Gail Young, Miracle Minute raised just over $500 in one minute at a football game against the University of Central Oklahoma. Young and Hall are both especially pleased with the outcome of Miracle Minute. The idea was brought to the SAAC board by Lincoln Wieseman, SAAC treasurer.

“I had done it at my high school so I pitched the idea at a SAAC meeting earlier this year, and everyone got on board,” said Wieseman. “I personally ran up and down the stands collecting donations from the UCO fans along with my teammate Bradley George. It was nice to see everyone supporting the children of Make-A-Wish.”

The next Miracle Minute is a part of a basketball game this spring. Athletes are very excited to see how it does this time around.

“I think it will be such a cool experience to see a child’s wish come true,” said Hunter Pennington, Tahlequah junior. “I am excited to do it for basketball because I’m sure there will be great attendance from the team doing well”

The NSU men’s basketball team has a winning record of 11-8 this season.

Students interested in learning more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation should visit their website at If interested in assisting in the Miracle Minute, attend the men’s basketball game at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 1 in the Event Center.

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