Dec. 14, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- Badger fans donated 133 toys and $2,799 in donations for the Toys for Tots toy drive sponsored by the UW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the UW Athletic Department during the men’s basketball game against South Dakota Dec. 4.
The toy drive was a joint effort between SAAC, led by junior track and field athlete Jordan Helgren, and the UW Athletic Department. This year’s event marked the sixth annual toy drive sponsored by SAAC.
“Personally, I think Toys for Tots is one of the most fun and rewarding fundraisers there is,” Helgren said. “The idea of making less fortunate kids happy during the holiday season simply by buying a toy is so cool, and shopping for toys is exciting anyway. It’s a very rewarding fundraiser knowing that my committee can put on this successful toy drive.”
Helgren and her fellow SAAC members enjoyed putting on the toy drive, and the Plymouth, Minn., native explained why giving back to her community is important as a student-athlete.
“I think it’s very easy as a student-athlete to get wrapped up in your sport and staying afloat in the classroom,” Helgren said. “Putting on fun community service activities like Toys for Tots allows student-athletes to take time away from their daily lives to give back to the community, which gives us as athletes a sense of accomplishment outside of athletics.”
For this year’s toy drive, fans were encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the men’s basketball game. UW student-athletes collected the toys and donations, which will be donated to Toys for Tots for distribution in the greater Madison area.
SAAC sponsors various community service initiatives for UW student-athletes. The committee is a leadership group that provides an outlet for student-athletes to discuss issues specific to dealing with student-athlete life. It also serves as a liaison between the student-athlete population, coaches and administration, the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA.
The University of Wisconsin thanks fans for their support of the UW SAAC toy drive.