Dec. 21, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a toy drive at the men's hockey game Nov. 9 to benefit the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program.
Student-Athletes were posted at the doors of the Kohl Center to collect new, unwrapped toys and accept donations as fans entered the facility as part of a partnership between SAAC, the UW Athletic Department, and Toys for Tots.
The student-athletes collected 150 toys and $1,458.75 in cash donations that will be used to benefit local, underprivileged children. This is the third-consecutive year SAAC has participated in the toy drive.
"The student-athlete volunteers had a great time working the drive," said Kyla Chapman, a junior cross-country runner who participated in the event. "There was a great feeling of accomplishment when we were counting up the toys and money donations."
Toys for Tots has collected over 81 million toys for children, nationally, since 1947. The organization aims to send a message of hope to less fortunate youth, through a new a toy at Christmas, that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens, according to the organization's website.
"When the community sees UW athletes giving back to the community, it really has a full circle effect," said Chapman. "The holidays are a great time for people to really open their hearts for those that need it, and this drive was a great example of that."
SAAC is composed of representatives from each of the 23 athletic teams at UW-Madison that serve as liaisons between the student-athlete population and the coaches, administrative, NCAA, and other related entities. It provides an outlet for student-athletes to discuss dealing with the rigors of student-athlete life.