CLEVELAND, OH -- The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) competed in a weeklong Change War with the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) SAAC during the 2019 NCAA Division III Week, which ran from Friday, March 29, through Sunday, April 7.
All funds raised this spring through the Change War will be directed to Active Minds, the nation’s premier non-profit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students. Through its cutting-edge programs and services, Active Minds is empowering a new generation to change the conversation about mental health for everyone. Now in its 15th year, Active Minds is at more than 600 colleges and high schools nationwide, including 450 student-led chapters. Their programs and services empower students to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, create communities of support and ultimately save lives.
The PAC totaled $2,995.43 to edge out the North Coast by $157.21, as the NCAC schools raised $2,838.22 during the friendly and spirited fundraising competition.
Grove City College, a member of the PAC, led all participating schools with over $1,318.93 raised. Oberlin College led all NCAC schools with $1,167.08 raised.
“I'm incredibly proud of the efforts of the NCAC and PAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committees,” said NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski. “Increasing awareness of issues of mental health and the resources available can be life-saving. These funds raised in support of Active Minds will help further awareness and education efforts that may help one of our students, or coaches or any member of our NCAC and PAC communities. Working to create a community of support for each other may be one of the most important things we can do, and this SAAC Change War was a wonderfully visible way to highlight our efforts in this area.”
Including the $5,833.65 raised this spring, the philanthropy of the two leagues has generated over $24,000 fin five years for six different foundations. The two leagues combined to raise $3,600 for The Cure Starts Now Cancer Research Foundation in 2015 and just over $5,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research in 2016. In 2017, the NCAC raised $2,179.37 for the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in support of the late Allegheny College head volleyball coach Bridget Sheehan and her fight against fallopian cancer, while the PAC raised $1,921.29 for the Beaver County (PA) Cancer & Heart Association in support of Geneva College head women's basketball coach Lori Wynn and her battle with ovarian cancer. Last year, the two leagues combined to raise just over $5,600 for LifeBanc in memory of the College of Wooster’s Clayton Geib, a senior chemistry major and football player at Wooster, who passed away on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at Wooster Community Hospital after complaining that he did not feel well following the conclusion of a football game.
Division III Week remains an opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. The event is part of Division III's Identity Initiative, which was introduced in 2010 to sharpen the division's identity and to enable schools and conferences to more effectively explain why they prefer to compete in Division III.
Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, DePauw University, Denison University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.