In the spirit of basketball rivalry week, students from the University and Michigan State University are competing to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation as part of the third annual Collegiate Challenge.
Though the groups have already started accepting online donations, University students will begin a major fundraising push this week after Tuesday’s basketball game against MSU and will continue throughout the rest of the month.
This year, the University’s chapter of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega will combine fundraising efforts with MStars, the University’s Make-A-Wish chapter. MSU’s Make-A-Wish chapter, MSU Stars, will run the East Lansing side of the fundraiser.
All money raised will help the organization grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. Wishes include trips to Disney World, New York City or the Super Bowl, for example. APO and MStars will run donation tables at the Michigan Union and the University’s C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
“We hope to make the event more known on campus and raise as much money as possible for the wonderful kids in our children’s hospitals in Michigan,” said LSA senior Andrew Short, Make-a-Wish Chair for the University’s APO chapter. “It is incredible to witness how much joy a wish can bring a child.”
Short said the University’s fundraising team raised $6,000 last year toward one child’s wish. This year each fundraising team is hoping to raise $10,000 to fund trips for two children.
“We work both in competition and in collaboration with each other,” Short said. “I’m excited to see what our efforts will produce this year.”
While table donations will last only a few days, online donation sites will stay live through the end of the month to give people a longer period to donate. Each team’s progress toward their goals can also be tracked online.
LSA senior Nicolette De Simone, president of MStars, said she hopes to eventually expand the fundraising competition to include a basketball tournament similar to MSU Stars’ kick-off fundraising event.
MSU senior Shadi Jammoul, MSU Stars president, said the MSU fundraising team is also trying to raise enough money to fund wishes for two children this year. While their campaign has raised about $4,000 so far, MSU Stars still need to raise about $6,000 to reach their goal.
“At the end of the week, the campus that raised more money will simply have bragging rights, while the other will be further inspired to raise more next year,” Short said.