#BigWestCares: 10th Annual Coin Drive Set To Kick Off This February
Now in its tenth year, the Big West Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is prepped to begin the annual Coin Drive this February.
The Coin Drive is a group effort as each school’s SAAC collects coins during the month of February to donate to a charity of its choice.
This year, the institutions have selected the following charities: Cal Poly (Hearst Cancer Resource Center); Cal State Fullerton (Team IMPACT - #TeamCoben); CSUN (West Valley Animal Shelter); Long Beach State (CSULB Beach Pantry); UC Davis (Cal Aggie Camp); UC Irvine (UCI Urology - Urological Cancer); UC Riverside (Cesar Chavez Community Center); UC Santa Barbara (Swim with Mike); Hawai‘i (UH Relay for Life).
On selecting Team IMPACT, Cal State Fullerton said they are on a mission to “increase awareness about Coben and his fight.”
In Oct. of 2016, Fullerton baseball partnered up with Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team, and officially welcomed eight-year-old Coben Swanson to the Titan family.
Coben is on the road to recovery from a Nov. 2015 diagnosis of T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, brain hemorrhage, craniectomy and cranioplasty. CSF SAAC members said, “Coben and his fight shows the true meaning of what being a Titan is all about.”
Long Beach State will be supporting the “Beach Pantry”, the official food pantry for all 49er students who may be in need. The Beach decided to select the Pantry to support their fellow students and to recognize the role that access to nutritious food plays in one’s ability to excel in academics.
UC Irvine Athletics and SAAC are collecting this year in honor of UCI Urology’s Urologic Cancer Services and long-time UC Irvine Athletics friend and supporter, Jack Norberg.
UC Santa Barbara is proud to partner with “Swim with Mike” and looks forward to supporting the organization’s mission to provide financial resources for advanced education that pave the way for physically challenged athletes to overcome their tragedies and realize their full potential.
Hawai‘i SAAC was inspired to select the “UH Relay for Life” and will be donating all proceeds to the cause after years of commitment and service. The UH SAAC began the event 11 years ago and has raised over half a million dollars since the inaugural event.
Big West has raised over $175,000 with a nine-year aggregate of $176,549.06. Last year’s total was $28,510.60, the third-highest total in the fundraiser's history with the record-breaking sum of $36,271.76 raised in 2013.
For the third year in a row, institutions will donate 100 percent of the funds raised to their designated charities. The top three fundraising SAACs will receive a cash prize to put towards their SAAC budget.
“The commitment the Big West Student Athlete Advisory Committee has demonstrated to charitable works over the years truly has been inspiring,” said Big West Conference Commissioner Dennis Farrell. “The Coin Drive is a symbol of their dedication and we look forward to the continued growth of the event.”
All are encouraged to bring their change to a Big West school to support a worthwhile cause in the month of February.