The Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs) from the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) will engage in a friendly, spirited fundraising competition during the 2015 NCAA Division III Week in support of The Cure Starts Now Foundation.
The SAACs at NCAC and PAC member institutions will conduct a weeklong “Change War” from Monday, April 6 through Sunday, April 12. Campus SAAC groups will collect change during Division III Week, and the conference which raises the most combined funds will be declared the NCAC/PAC “Change War” winner. Additionally, each conference will celebrate the member school that raises the most funds within its respective league.
“The Change War is an effective way to bring out the competitive nature in all student-athletes, and since The Cure Starts Now Foundation has a connection to Division III athletics, we thought it was the perfect foundation for our efforts of raising money and awareness for a meaningful cause,” said Allegheny College senior Paul Vojtek. Vojtek is a member of the Gators’ baseball program and serves as the president of both the Allegheny SAAC and the NCAC SAAC.
All of the funds raised by the NCAC and PAC will go directly to The Cure Starts Now Cancer Research Foundation.
“The Change War competition between our PAC member schools and the North Coast membership is a fun and engaging way to get both conferences involved, not just raising funds for a great cause, but also in a healthy competition. I hope the North Coast schools are ready because the PAC never backs down from a challenge, especially one that we believe is going to have a very positive impact,” said Washington & Jefferson College junior Amanda Halula. Halula is a member of the Presidents’ women’s golf program and serves as W&J’s SAAC president and vice president of the PAC SAAC.
Started in 2007 by Cincinnati residents, The Cure Starts Now Foundation, an international cancer research foundation, is one of the first foundations to focus on a “homerun strategy” to cancer research, gaining worldwide recognition both by families and other cancer organizations for their focus on revolutionary new strategies for cancer research. The inspirational story of Mount St. Joseph University women’s basketball player Lauren Hill, diagnosed with DIPG, a form of brain cancer, has captured the attention of Division III student-athletes across the country. Lauren continues as a spokesperson, fundraiser and advocate for other kids battling brain cancer through The Cure Starts Now Foundation.
Division III Week is an opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. The event is part of Division III’s Identity Initiative, which was introduced in 2010 to sharpen the division’s identity and to enable schools and conferences to more effectively explain why they prefer to compete in Division III.