CLEVELAND, OH -- The Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) from the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) will engage in a friendly, spirited fundraising competition during the 2019 NCAA Division III Week.
The SAAC groups at NCAC and PAC member institutions will conduct a week long "Change War" from Friday, March 29 through Sunday, April 7. Campus SAAC groups will collect change during Division III Week, and the conference which raises the most combined funds will be declared the NCAC/PAC "Change War" winner. Additionally, each conference will celebrate the member school that raises the most funds within its respective league.
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.
“This year the NCAC has been focusing on a conference wide mental health initiative. We have decided to align our annual NCAC/PAC Change War with this goal as well, by donating all funds raised to Active Minds. We do this in honor of anyone— student athletes, class mates, friends, and family members who we have been lost by suicide, and in encouragement to anyone who is battling mental health issues,” said Hiram College senior and NCAC SAAC president Sophie Bell. “Please reach out to friends, family, coaches, or any individuals you trust if you need someone to talk to.”
Through cutting-edge programs and services, Active Minds is empowering a new generation to change the conversation about mental health for everyone. Now in its fifteenth 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. If you or someone you know needs help, act now - https://www.activeminds.org/about-mental-health/get-help-now/
“I am very excited that the PAC and NCAC are teaming up to raise funds for Active Minds during this year’s ‘Change War’ competition. The team at Active Minds does more than raise awareness of mental health as an issue, it also helps educate students on the important topics of addressing mental health on our campuses and in society at large. As a member of the national Division III SAAC, I chose to be a part of the mental health working group because mental health awareness is a topic I am very passionate about. By partnering with Active Minds, I hope that our campuses take the “Change War” as an opportunity to continue trying to break the stigma of mental health, and work towards making the conversations about these topics more comfortable for all of our students,” said Bethany senior and PAC SAAC president Fran Capaldi.
In four years of the NCAC/PAC "Change War", the two leagues have combined to raise over $18,000 for four different cancer foundations and organ and tissue recovery. The two leagues combined to raise $3,600 for The Cure Starts Now Cancer Research Foundation 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.
NCAA Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on their 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.
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.