Student athlete organization raises funds for charity

The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) will start volunteer-based projects this fall and upcoming spring in an effort to raise funds for charity, said SAAC president Jaclyn Newell after the organization’s first semester-opening meeting last week.

“Our fall project is the October breast cancer awareness month,” Newell said. “We’re looking to raise funds for one of the cancer organizations in San Antonio. We’re planning on selling pink bro tanks and having various events to raise money during that month.”

The bulk of the organization’s fundraising effort lies in selling tank tops and shirts at various university sporting events during the month of October.

Newell explained that there are also plans to have SAAC representatives from each sport lead a team event to help raise funds for the breast cancer awareness project. The cross country and track teams, for example, plan to make a collaborative effort in helping work a 20 mile road race in San Antonio this fall, according to Newell.

In addition to the SAAC’s main fall project, Newell outlined other projects and events that the organization would be helping lead or collaborate on during the rest of the year.

Hudson Taylor, a NCAA All-American wrestler from the University of Maryland and founder of Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization aimed at advocating for athletes of different sexual orientations, is slated to visit Trinity in the spring. The event is to be sponsored by Residential Life, the sports management department, and the athletic department.

Newell, also mentioned a volunteer-based effort to be held at Sunshine Cottage, a school for deaf students close to Trinity. SAAC members have gone to Sunshine Cottage in the past to interact with the students in an athletic-based setting. In th past, the SAAC at Trinity has organized a field day at Sunshine Cottage during NCAA Division III Week.

SAAC members will close the spring semester with their annual end of year athletic banquet, a large gathering of Trinity’s athletes in which awards are given to individuals and teams based on votes from the student-athlete population.

“The end of year banquet will be an award for all the hard work that our athletes put into their sport and their community,” Newell said.

A vital part of the student athletes’ community involvement effort is volleyball coach Aly Hazelwood and women’s soccer coach Lance Key’s participation in the organization.

“Our role is to assist the SAAC members in any way [we] can as Athletic Dept. staff members,” Hazelwood said. “Basically, we help facilitate their projects by giving them guidance on organizing events.”

Hazelwood is enthusiastic for what is to come this fall and spring from the student athletes’ efforts in community involvement. She cites dedicated leadership and supportive members as the proponent of change.

“I’m excited about the projects we’ve got planned for this year,” Hazelwood said. “I think the experience of the executive board and members from planning and organizing the same projects in past years will make this year’s events even more successful. And, I think this year’s projects will truly promote Trinity student-athletes and athletics in both the University and San Antonio community.”

The SAAC members fulfill the role of representing their respective teams, while communicating to the organization their team’s specific ability to contribute to any given project.

“The bottom line is that [we] serve as a liaison between the SAAC and the athletes,” track and field representative Tyler Patterson said. “[We] serve to unify the student-athlete group through things like the end-of-the-year ceremony, but also to provide a way for Trinity athletes and students alike to benefit the community.”

Nationwide, there are separate division for Division I, II and III. More information regarding the Trinity chapter of the SAAC can be found at http://www.trinitytigers.com/information/saac/index.