Fundraising ‘War’ sparks spirit

Katherine Rojas

Quinnipiac athletes competed in a different kind of game this year to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation.

Through the Penny War Challenge, the official charity of Northeast Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee, all of Quinnipiac’s athletic teams raised approximately $775 between Jan. 31 and Feb. 13. According to Associate Athletic Director Tracey Flynn, this year produced a 1,800 percent improvement over the money collected during last year’s challenge.

“I am very proud of the commitment our SAAC members made to participate in this year’s challenge,” Flynn said. “So many of our student-athletes invested energy in this activity and the end result will go to a great cause–the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation’s Bear-ables program!”

The NEC mandates the annual Penny War challenge. Schools in the conference that have a SAAC organization compete head-to-head within their own community among the men and women’s athletic teams.

“Giving our couch cushion change is the least we can do, and all of the teams are enjoying the friendly competition,” said Nicole Serrante, field hockey player and SAAC representative.

SAAC consists of two representatives from each sports team that hold events to support the community, athletes and students on campus. They donate food on Thanksgiving to families and the Healing Youth Services. They donate gifts on Christmas and hold ice cream socials at the end of every semester during finals week. By having the teams on campus compete against each other, it spurs competition, bigger donations, and sometimes even lighthearted foul play.

“Our competitiveness in Quinnipiac athletics is shown not only on the field as a team but for a good cause,” said Kacie McCreesh, a freshman field hockey player.

The rules are simple. Teams get one point for each penny they donate, but when silver coins or paper money are donated, points are subtracted according to the money’s value.

“My team would sabotage others by putting silver coins in their bottles just so we can have higher points,” McCreesh said.

The women’s cross country team won with 3,081 points, while second place went to the women’s basketball team with 56 points, and women’s softball came in third with -171 points.

“We really wanted to do it better this year, and I think it’s going well,” said Joelle Jacobsen, softball player and SAAC representative. “It’s the first year that I think, since I have been a part of SAAC, it’s been really big and everyone has been really participating.”

Last year Quinnipiac raised about $50, while other schools raised $700. One year later, it’s a vast improvement.