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UNG tops Division II in Make-A-Wish fundraising

Make A Wish 2018 file 2
Chandler Holcomb, a 9-year-old from Gainesville battling leukemia, signs paperwork with UNG Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves and UNG head baseball coach Tom Cantrell as part of his Make-A-Wish celebration at Bob Stein Stadium on April 17. UNG raised the most money among Division II schools for Make-A-Wish in 2017-18.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) athletic teams raised more money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation than any other NCAA Division II school in 2017-18, marking the third-straight year the school has been the Division II leader.

UNG's $31,875 sent to the Make-A-Wish Foundation accounted for more than half of the $52,406.92 raised by the entire Peach Belt Conference (PBC). It was also more than $18,000 higher than the next-closest school, as Lindenwood University raised $13,102.22. The PBC's amount raised was second-best out 24 Division II conferences.

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that arranges experiences described as "wishes" to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"Our student-athletes have invested in the Make-A-Wish partnership with the same commitment that they represent UNG in the arena of competition," UNG Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves said. "The benefit of their hard work with this initiative is visible on the faces of the Make-A-Wish children who we are afforded the privilege of hosting each year."

Nigel's Run With Superheroes 5K/Fun Run, which caps UNG's 2018-19 Make-A-Wish initiative, is held in the spring, but a date is not yet set.

Since 2010, UNG has raised more than $164,000 for Make-A-Wish, including at least $10,000 every year since 2010-11. Those donations have accounted for more than 16 wishes being granted through the efforts of Nighthawk Nation.

Since the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) established the partnership with Make-A-Wish in 2003, the division has raised more than $5.7 million for the nonprofit. Those funds have been used to grant wishes to more than 660 children across the country.
The alliance with Make-A-Wish provides student-athletes the opportunity to see their hard work pay off. SAAC continued a model adopted three years ago in which money collected from championship and enforcement fines are added to institutional fundraising, so institutions have the opportunity to host a wish reveal party on campus.

In 2017-18, nine schools raised more than $10,000 — the national average cost of a wish reveal — and automatically earned a wish reveal party. UNG has hosted six consecutive Make-A-Wish events on campus and will host a seventh this school year.

For more information, visit UNG's Make-A-Wish information page.

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