Name: Jennifer Burt
In its fourth year of competition, the SUU Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is again petitioning the campus and local communities to help in their quest for Summit League Championship as they collect food to be donated to the local Care and Share Food Bank in the annual Summit League “Food Fight” that runs January 21–28.
After a second place finish in 2011, the SAAC at SUU has set its sights on a first-place finish, aiming to collect an unprecedented amount of non-perishable food items in a short one-week period. Monetary donations are also accepted and will be given to the Care and Share.
Last year, SUU’s SAAC collected 8,923 pound of food across the Cedar City community, placing them near but not quite at the top of the pack of the 11 universities that comprise the Summit League Athletic Conference.
The committee, led by Stacey Brinkman (soccer) Caitlin Kennedy (gymnastics) Tim Dalene (Track), and Anna Schumaker (Gymnastics), have worked hard to organize the student-athletes to make this year’s food drive bigger and better. “Our goal is to double our efforts and double our pounds,” explained Brinkman.
This year, the committee has increased its efforts with key events and community partnerships that they hope will help spread the word and improve their food pack.
“We’ve got more involvement from our campus through SUUSA and LDSSA this year.” Brinkman said these collaborations have really helped to spread the word and make a much broader level of campus and community participation possible.
Included in the upcoming events, the SAAC has planned a “Black Out” for the upcoming January 20 gymnastics meet. All Thunderbird fans are encouraged to wear all black to Friday evening’s competition in the Centrum Arena and to bring non-perishable food donations. In return SUU Athletics will offer a discount on admission prices: $1 off per can, up to $5 per ticket.
In conjunction with the competition’s timeline, similar $1 per can admission discounts are available at all SUU sporting events from January 20 through the 28. This includes SUU Gymnastics vs. Brigham Young University on Friday and Men’s and Women’s Basketball vs. IPFW on Saturday of this week. The food drive discount also extends to several events next week: Women’s Basketball vs. Oakland on Monday, January 23; Men’s Basketball vs. UMKC on Thursday, January 26; and Women’s and Men’s Basketball vs. South Dakota on Saturday, January 28.
Along with the planned “Black Out,” the committee has also worked with SUUSA to host a “We CAN Fight Hunger” dance for Thunderbird students after this Friday’s Gymnastics meet.
Beyond gathering food on campus through donation bins and events, the student-athletes are working in collaboration with the local Lin’s, Smith’s, and Walmart stores, as well as many of the Iron County Schools to collect donations.
Said Brinkman, “We appreciate the increased cooperation and efforts of our Iron County schools, Lin’s, Smith’s, and Walmart, as well as our official sponsors, Sherrie Hansen & Suzette Cardon of State Farm Insurance.”
Collection bins are on site at all of Cedar City’s grocery stores. Just as they so eagerly cheer on our student-athletes in the field of athletic competition, community members are encouraged to support them in their civic efforts to make a positive impact on the local community.
The SAAC has also challenged each of the participating local schools to have their own “Food Fight” competition between classes. The winning class will then be awarded a pizza party with SUU student-athletes.
“Last year, there was fierce competition between Cedar’s two middle schools, with Canyon View Middle winning by a 100-pound nose,” said Brinkman.
The youth competition to assist SUU’s student-athletes in their 2012 food fight is divided into three age divisions: elementary, middle school and high school.
A first-place finish is within reach – support your SUU Thunderbirds in worthy competition through the Summit League Food Fight.
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