Skip to main content

GV Now

SAAC earns award from Make-A-Wish Michigan

  • six people standing in front of Make-A-Wish Michigan backdrop

Posted on April 19, 2019

After a record-breaking fundraising year, Grand Valley's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) received the “Sue J” award, an honor given to collegiate organizations for their support of Make-A-Wish Michigan.

The award is named for Susan Jandernoa, current member of Grand Valley's Board of Trustees. SAAC executive board members accepted the award April 9 during Make-A-Wish's annual appreciation banquet in Grand Rapids.

SAAC plans programming for student athletes throughout the year, with event proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. Some of these events included a dodgeball tournament, the Anchor Awards (an ESPYs-style awards banquet) and Walk for a Wish. Through these events, SAAC had its most successful fundraising year, raising $12,000 for Make-A-Wish. In each of the past three years, SAAC has raised $10,000 for Make-A-Wish.

“It was more than $2,000 more what we have raised in the past,” said SAAC president Carly Shisler, graduating senior and lacrosse midfielder. "We were so excited to surpass our goal and that makes me thrilled for the future of the committee."

SAAC kicked off the year by granting the wish of a young girl, Alex, at a Laker football game. Shisler described this event as a major inspiration for the organization this year. Alex learned she and her family were going to Disney World during a halftime event.

“To see her excitement about her wish coming true gave everything that we do a purpose,” Shisler said.

Shisler said it was an honor to be recognized by Make-A-Wish Michigan.

“To be honored for this award was incredible because it was affirmation that we were able to reach our goals for the year, and to be directly recognized by the Make-A-Wish was so special for our members,” Shisler said. “It meant that we were able to make a difference in these children’s lives as well as have a positive impact on the organization.”

-- written by Madison Barnes, student writer