SFU SAAC Among Top Fundraisers For Make-A-Wish
Simon Fraser SAAC members participated in Operation Christmas Child in December 2019 to support children in need in developing countries.
Simon Fraser SAAC members participated in Operation Christmas Child in December 2019 to support children in need in developing countries.

Thursday, November 5, 2020
by Simon Fraser Athletic Communications

BURNABY, B.C. – The Simon Fraser University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) was one of the top fundraising schools in NCAA Division II, raising more than $6,000 for Make-A-Wish British Columbia and Yukon despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2019-20 academic year, the SFU SAAC raised approximately $6,150 as part of its ongoing partnership with Make-A-Wish. While fundraising efforts were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, SFU SAAC still honored its commitment to Make-A-Wish and raised $1,000 more than the previous year.

Over the past three years, SFU SAAC has donated $15,264 to Make-A-Wish British Columbia and Yukon. Last year, SFU SAAC raised $5,014 and in 2017-18, it raised $4,100.

Since 2003, Division II schools have donated more than $6.4 million USD and granted over 760 wishes.

The SAAC runs a number of events throughout the year with the goal to enhance the student-athlete experience through social, community and academic opportunities, being the voice of student-athletes through effective communication between the athletic body and the administration and fostering a positive student-athlete image within the community.

The SAAC's donation will go toward granting the wishes of British Columbia and Yukon children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Simon Fraser SAAC raised money for Make-A-Wish through a number of initiatives, including bake sales and pub nights. The SAAC also took on many other community initiatives. The SAAC spearheads a mental health engagement initiative at the university, helped run fitness classes for the Special Olympics Club Fit Program in Coquitlam, launched the Brandon Bassi Beach Cleanup at Kitsilano Beach in honour of the men's soccer player who was tragically killed in a car crash, raised money in support of ALS with a $2 Taco Night at a volleyball game, held "Operation Christmas Child" to support children in need in developing countries and participated in Residence Move-In Day, among many other initiatives.

"Social interactions will always be a big part of the student-athlete experience. A lot of the money raised for Make-A-Wish was through these initiatives and we are proud of this," said SAAC president Ryan Stolys, a member of the men's golf team and three-time recipient of the prestigious Faculty Athletic Representative Scholar-Athlete Award. "SAAC has really grown its community involvement over the years, we are repping the student-athlete voice in positive ways, and we have become this group of change-makers who want to make things happen. It's incredibly rewarding to be a part of this special group."

"We are proud of our student-athletes' involvement with Make-A-Wish BC and Yukon and their commitment to impacting their community in positive ways," said SFU Athletics Associate Director of Student-Athlete Services Kelly Weber, who oversees the SAAC. "In addition to all that they do within their sport and academically, they generally want to make a difference in their community and its really inspiring to know that this next generation of community leaders is on its way."