INDIANAPOLIS -- Student-Athlete Advisory Committees across the NCAA's Division II membership combined to raise $405,752 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation during the 2010-11 academic year, National Office officials announced on Wednesday.
In addition to celebrating DII's overall contribution level, the NCAA specifically recognized the top five conference fundraisers -- one of which was the South Atlantic Conference.
The SAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee raised $20,489.85 in 2010-11, nearly tripling the previous year's contribution level.
The SAC was No. 5 on the list of top conference contributors to the Make-a-Wish campaign, finishing slightly behind four other leagues. Making the SAC's donation more impressive, however, is the fact that the league has only 10 member institutions, while none of the other four have fewer than 13.
The achievement is indicative of the growing emphasis the SAC has placed on the conference's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and its service-oriented mission.
"I'm extremely proud of these young men and women," said SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz. "Every one of our schools contributed to this record-breaking fundraising effort, and the conference is thrilled to be able to help such a worthy charity.
"Our conference SAAC has come a long way in recent years."
NCAA Division II SAAC chair Nathan Kafer echoed the sentiments from a national perspective.
"Make-A-Wish is (DII's) baby and something we can all take pride in, despite whatever economic situation people are going through," said the recent Regis (Colo.) graduate. "So whatever we can do to make that better and lessen the burden for those families who are going through those hard times, we really take pride in that."
As for fundraising in 2011-12, the Division II SAAC is working toward a special Make-A-Wish day to highlight the national effort. Details on timing and structure will be available soon.