South Atlantic Conference Pulls Together To Help Haiti

Article courtesy of Dennis Switzer, SAC SID

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Student-athletes, school administrators and fans from the nine member institutions in the South Atlantic Conference are all doing their part for the relief effort following the earthquakes in Haiti.

"We were discussing possible fund-raising efforts during a conference call of all of our athletics directors last week, and as we continued the discussion it was clear each one of our institutions had already taken the initiative to help the people of Haiti in their own way," said Commissioner Patrick Britz.

This past Saturday, Carson-Newman College started collecting children’s underwear as part of Skivvies for Haiti Night. Children All children 12 and under were admitted free with the donation of underwear sizes 2-14 that will go to the children of Haiti, who are in serious need of help after last Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.

Courtlyn Walsh, the 5-year-old daughter of C-N women’s basketball coach Dean Walsh, came up with the idea after learning that only one out of every 150 Haitian children has appropriate underwear. Courtlyn’s goal is to collect as many pairs of boy’s and girl’s underwear sizes 2-14 as possible.

Courtlyn and her mother, Courtney, have also set up drop-off locations at First Baptist Church in Jefferson City and The White Balloon located in The Gallery Shopping Center in Knoxville.

The promotion will continue for the rest of the season. Children 12 and under have the opportunity to receive free admission to any of C-N’s remaining regular season home games upon receipt of an underwear donation.

This Wednesday, Wingate University is collecting another necessary clothing item in short supply in Haiti – shoes.

The Wingate University women’s basketball and women’s soccer teams are partnering to support the Soles4Souls campaign Wednesday night in conjunction with Wingate’s home South Atlantic Conference basketball doubleheader versus Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Bulldog fans can donate a pair of gently used or new shoes and receive $2 off the ticket price Wednesday night. This promotion will continue for Wingate’s remaining regular season basketball schedule. All types of shoes are accepted: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats and flip flops...as long as they are gently worn or new.

Wingate head women’s basketball coach Barbara Nelson and her staff will coach barefoot Wednesday, Jan. 27 to help raise awareness for the need for supplies in Haiti.

"We (Americans) watch the newscasts…and wonder…what can I do to help the citizens of Haiti," Nelson says.

"Of course, monetary donations are one way of helping," Nelson acknowledges. "We felt we could do more. I must give credit to (Wingate assistant women’s soccer coach) Faith Bicknell. God brought this charity to her attention…and she asked us to help her team."

Donations will be accepted at the Cannon Athletic Complex and Cuddy Arena for the remainder of the basketball regular season. For more information, please contact Faith Bicknell at f.bicknell@wingate.edu. For more information on Soles4Souls, visit their web site at www.soles4souls.com.

Mars Hill College has been collecting donations at basketball games and will continue through the remainder of the season.

One hundred percent of all donations will go directly to the Red Cross and will be specifically earmarked to help the victims of Haiti. The campaign will run through February 27, the last home game for the Lion basketball teams. The goal is to raise $2,000.

Lenoir-Rhyne University has pledged a $2,000 contribution, representing the 2,000 students, faculty, and staff of the university.

The Lenoir-Rhyne gift is being made through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Disaster Response fund which guarantees that 100 percent of the donations will be used for actual relief efforts.

Lincoln Memorial University is collecting money and organizing many fund-raising efforts around campus.

Student Services is collecting monetary donations. A bake sale last week raised $240, a Chili Cook-Off and bake sale is planned for Feb. 1, and a silent auction is planned for Feb. 8-12. Also, up to 20 DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine students and faculty will be traveling to Haiti to provide support during their spring break. The school is also collecting medical supplies and toiletry items.

Brevard College is promoting a text message code – the word QUAKE to number 20222 – at basketball games. A $10 charge will be billed to the cellphone. Also, Brevard is setting a campus goal of raising $2,500 to purchase 10,000 meals of dehydrated rice, vegetables, and protein through the organization Stop Hunger Now.

At Catawba College, Volunteer Catawba has had contribution receptacles around campus for the past week to collect money for the American Red Cross.

At Newberry College, The Student-Athlete Advisory Council will start fundraising this week for Haiti, called Team Haiti. Students who sign up will raise money until Feb. 9th, with the money going to Truth Ministries, a missions group in Florida currently in Haiti helping.

The Tusculum Pioneer SAAC will be collecting monetary donations at this week’s home basketball games Wednesday and Friday.

"We are hoping these ideas may motivate those institutions who are looking for ideas to put into place on their campus. I would like to say thank you to everyone associated with the South Atlantic Conference. It is very inspiring to see the efforts that all nine of our institutions have made and will continue to make," said Dr. Dan Lunsford, president of Mars Hill College and current chair of the conference Presidents Council.

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