Friday, December 14, 2012

Luther SAAC Hits the Books

From Tyler Wedemeier, SAAC President at Luther College:

"The Luther College SAAC partnered with the Worldwide Book Drive to promote literacy and education around the world. For two weeks, students, staff and faculty filled a box in bookstore of unused and unwanted textbooks. Altogether Luther SAAC collected over 400 lbs of books. Worldwide Book Drive has donated over 2,000,000 books globally."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Central SAAC Aids Wagoner Family

From Alicia O'Brien, Central College Associate AD and SAAC Advisor:

"SAAC sponsored a "Penny Wars" contest between the athletic teams on campus in order to raise money for the Wagoner family.  Mitch Wagoner, a junior track & field athlete at Central lost his brother, Tony, to cancer about a month ago.  The total amount raised was $250 and the check is being presented to Mitch by SAAC members, Shannon Coulson (softball) and Taylor Hill (golf)."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

BVU Hosts "Take a Kid to the Game"

This from Kellyn Arnold from the BV Student-Athlete Advisory Committee:

"On Saturday, October 6th, the BVU Athletics Department and BVU SAAC students took part in the NCAA’s annual Take a Kid to the Game event.  Kids thru 8th grade were admitted FREE with a paid adult.  Each child got a FREE bag of popcorn from the BVU concessions, blue & gold Beaver pompoms and a beaver face tattoo.  They registered for door prizes and guessed how many candy corn were in a candy football dispenser.  In addition, Nick Schumacher donated 100 BVU Football  Game Day t-shirts for the first 100 kids in the gate!   Kids also had their headshot taken so we could display them on the video board during halftime and after the game.  Twenty-four door prizes winners were drawn (prizes were a BVU water bottle and 1 FREE candy bar from BV concessions).   In conjunction with the Take a Kid to the Game event, the BVU Cheerleaders also hosted  60+ kids at a youth cheer clinic that morning and those kids got to cheer with the BVU cheerleaders the entire first half."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Loras hosts ‘Play Day’ with Special Olympics Iowa

On October 13, the Loras College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee combined forces with Special Olympics Iowa for a Play Day in the Graber Sports Center. One of the Loras student-athletes who helped coordinate the event was SAAC executive member Kinsey Campbell. She turned in this review of the day.

Last spring we hosted Special Olympics Iowa at Loras in the AWC for a Challenge Day. Many volunteer Duhawk athletes came out to help support it and had just as much fun as the participating athletes did. We knew we wanted to do it again with even more activities. This was our first time doing a “Play Day” with the Special Olympians.

It was very similar to what we did in the spring, but the biggest difference was this event was with just the younger athletes. We had so many Loras athletes interested in signing up we had to turn some away! There were eight different events and every athlete was able to participate in each one.

“I had the opportunity to assist with the basketball event during the Play Day,” said Niki Rivera – one of the seniors on the women’s basketball team.

“It was an amazing experience.  Seeing the kids smile with excitement and joy when they made a shot really made my day!  This event made me take a step back and appreciate the abilities that I have been given.  And I am looking forward to volunteering for Special Olympics again in the future.”

“I had the chance to assist with the 25-foot dash and it was an incredible experience,” said Jayne Eslinger – one of Campbell’s teammates on the women’s soccer team.

“One of the participating boys was even able to get out of his wheelchair and walk the distance on his own despite his handicap. It was inspiring to see because each Special Olympics athlete had a smile on their face. That alone helped me gain a higher appreciation for my own abilities in athletics.”

Amy Nader was a team leader on that Saturday. “Being a team leader, I had the joy of working with a family of four - two energetic little boys and one happy little girl who were very helpful and encouraging to their older sister in a wheelchair. Each one loved all of the events,” said Nader.

Kathy Irving, the Director of Athlete Initiatives at Special Olympics Iowa, once again shared her gratitude and appreciation for what the Duhawks did to help make the Play Day a success.

“It was awesome. AWESOME,” Irving proclaimed this week. “We had 27 athletes attend and based on some conversations I had on Saturday, I believe we’ll be able to make that number go up in the future,” she added.

“What made it such a great event was the (Loras) students,” Irving continued. “They didn’t JUST volunteer and do their station. They interacted and really put themselves out there with our athletes. They got down there and played! Parents and first timers were blown away with how well it went.”

“I’ve been doing this 23 years, I work with colleges all over the state, I can’t stress enough how well the Loras students do to put everything into making the event happen… and to do so because they want to be there and help, not because they are forced to be there. They certainly don’t act like they have to be there. It is huge! The families of our athletes notice that – giving so much to our athletes.”

“I could not have been happier with how it went.”

Special Olympics Iowa will return to the Loras College campus on April 27, 2013 for another “Challenge Day.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Coe SAAC Honors the Phifers with Honorary Captaincy

This from Kelsey Jipp (second from left) at Coe:

"SAAC made President Phifer and his wife, Linnie (center of photo), honorary captains at the Coe Homecoming football game.  They did the coin toss before the game and then were awarded with sports memorabilia from each sports team.  With this being President Phifer's last year at Coe, SAAC will will recognize him several times throughout year.  He has always shown great support to our athletic programs and student-athletes, and we know he will continue to do so after he retires.  We are thankful to have him as a Kohawk!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

BVU's Special Olympics Event a Big Success

On May 4, the BVU SAAC organized a Special Olympics Track & Field Day at Faith, Hope & Charity, a school in Storm Lake for students with special needs.  It was a beautiful, sunny day -- perfect weather for running, beanbag toss, hula hoops, and playing with a huge parachute.  The student-athletes and the Special Olympians shared their skills and worked out their bodies, then topped it off with some cupcake decorating.  Special credit goes to BVU’s SAAC secretary, Kylie Woodley, for organizing this event.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Loras Hosts Special Olympics Event

From Denise Udelhofen, Loras Associate AD and SAAC Adviser:

"Saturday, April 28th Loras College hosted a Special Olympics Challenge day. We had 81 Special Olympic athletes participate and 60+ Duhawk student athletes volunteer at the event. Activities included opening ceremony and various games -- volleyball, bowling, dice bowling, ball darts, batting off a tee and basketball -- that were played throughout the day, concluding with a closing ceremony.  It was a terrific event for Loras College Athletics and the Special Olympic athletes."

Coe's "Minute to Win It" SAAC Activity

Again, from Kelsey Jipp, Coe SAAC:
"Our final SAAC event this semester included teaming up with Senate to sponsor a Friday After Class (FAC), 'Minute To Win It' theme.  This video sums it up..."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coe Special Olympics Recap

From Kelsey Jipp, Coe SAAC:

"Here are some pictures from our Coe Special Olympics we held on Saturday, April 21st.  There were over 150 Special Olympics athletes and 50 student-athlete volunteers.  Volunteers served as mentors, race starters, timers and high-fivers.  The weather may not have been ideal but that did not stop us from having a great time!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Photos from Cornell's Unified Sports Day

Cornell College hosted the Fifth Annual Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) Unified Sports Day on March 17. Below are some great photos of the event. Cornell had 120 student volunteers partner with 150 SOIA athletes on sports teams for a day of unified activities. The group of volunteers included 49 student-athletes and four sports medicine assistants from Cornell. They engaged in 17 various activities ranging from bocce ball and bowling to floor hockey and arts and crafts. Lunch and t-shirts were provided to all participants.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Luther Celebrates National Student-Athlete Day with Youth Sports Activity

Another great video from Luther SAAC that shows its youth sports extravaganza for Decorah's budding boys' and girls' athletes!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Coe's Winter Awards Banquet Features Special Olympian

From Kelsey Jipp, Coe SAAC:

"Coe's SAAC held our 4th annual Winter Letter Awards Banquet April 27th to recognize Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving, and Wrestling athletes.  Each coach spoke about their team's season and announced their athletes by class so they could be given their IIAC conference certificates and/or varsity letters. All-Region, All-America and All-Academic recipients were also recognized. This year we had a guest speaker come in support of the NCAA's Special Olympics initiative. Traci Long is a Global Messenger for Special Olympics and graciously offered to tell her story and promote more student-athlete involvement in future Special Olympics events. She was able to encourage many athletes to sign up as volunteers at the Coe Special Olympics event, coming up April 14th. It was great having Traci and her positive energy!" (Traci [right] is pictured below with Coe women's basketball coach and senior women's administrator Randi Peterson).

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coe's "Think Pink" Event Highlights Regular-Season Finale

From Kelsey Jipp, Coe SAAC and women's basketball student-athlete:

"On Feb 18th, we had our "Think Pink" game to support and spread awareness of breast cancer. Athletes and faculty joined efforts in baking cookies for our baked goods sale, in which we raised over $200 for breast cancer research. We also had a pink costume contest for students. Here are a couple pics of our student section!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wartburg's Unified Sports Day A Big Success

The Wartburg College Athletic Department hosted its 14th annual Unified Sports Day, this past Saturday.

This event brings special needs individuals to campus for a day of fun and games with numerous Wartburg students.

To view the full photo gallery, click here.

To read the story in the Waterloo Courier, click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BV Basketball Event Raises Money for Cancer Research

This from BV Senior Women's Administrator Jennifer Thompson:

"We hosted our PINK Breast Cancer Event last Saturday evening at BVU and the SAAC students help me with this event.  I have attached some pictures of the activities at our event. We raised just over $2,000 for the WBCA Kay Yow Cancer Fund! Activities included:  a raffle of seven items, sales of snack mix, pink t-shirts, pink headbands and pink ribbon Tervis Tumblers, a silent auction of about 30 items, a best pink costume contest for BVU students (with prizes) and the BVU Dance Squad performed at both halftimes. Fans were all encouraged to wear pink to the game.  The women's team wore pink warm-up shirts and pink shoe laces, and the officials used their pink whistles."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Check Out the Release on Upcoming Leadership Conference

Looking forward to having some of the Iowa Conference's best in Cedar Rapids this weekend. Click this link:

2012 IIAC Student-Athlete Leadership Conference

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wartburg Takes Advantage of MLK Service Day Opportunity

Student-athletes at Wartburg College showed their volunteer spirit on Martin Luther King Day. Though there were many different service projects, the photos below came from a "Blankets of Love" outreach. The blankets go to young people in need. Wartburg's blankets will be going to Bremwood Lutheran Home in Waverly that has young people living there with a variety of issues (mental health, behavioral problems, etc.). The idea came out of a similar activity at the NCAA Regional Leadership Conference in November.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Luther Fall Sports Camp Video

This post from Luther's SAAC Board, c/o senior Katie Etter:

"Last November, our SAAC group held a three-hour Fall All-Sports Clinic for children ages 4-8.  Sixty kids from the surrounding community and over fifty student-athletes were involved in the event.  The kids were taken from station to station by Luther College swimmers and then played a game or did a drill with team members from Luther’s basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, golf, tennis, baseball/softball, wrestling, and track teams.  We included a snack break halfway through the clinic and each participant was given a water bottle to take home with them. While the kids (and parents) loved every second of the clinic, the Luther athletes had a blast as well giving back to their sports. The All-Sports Clinic provided a good opportunity for Norse athletes to develop their leadership and connect with local youth to maintain a cooperative spirit among the Luther and Decorah community."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Loras SAAC's "Toys for Tots" a Big Hit

From Denise Udelhofen, Associate AD and SAAC Advisor at Loras:
 "This past December, Loras’s SAAC sponsored “Toys for Tots” on three separate occasions. Toys for Tots is a national program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps, which looks to give those less fortunate a Christmas present. The Loras community was asked to donate an unwrapped toy when coming to one of the three Loras basketball games. When dropping their toy off, they were given a free popcorn ticket to enjoy during the athletic event. Many SAAC members were involved with posting signs around campus, spreading the message through word of mouth, and volunteering time during lunch to reach out to Loras staff, faculty, and students through flyers. Overall, it was a very successful event and the Loras community did not disappoint when asked to help support the Dubuque community."