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November 12, 2010 > Pioneers aquatics raise money for Make-A-Wish

Pioneers aquatics raise money for Make-A-Wish

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Information Director

Cal State East Bay swimming and water polo teams held a Swim for Wishes event to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, collecting $1,400 for the organization and bringing 47 members of the community out to get in the pool for some exercise on Oct. 30.

The event succeeded in bringing student-athletes, coaches and members of the campus and Hayward communities together to swim a mile at Pioneer Pool, mingle and enjoy music and breakfast, all while supporting a great cause.

"As a community exercise event, this was a great way to involve local swimmers and our student-athletes in supporting charity," Cal State East Bay head swimming coach Ben Loorz said. "I met lots of new people, and everyone seemed to have an enjoyable and relaxed time."

Participants in the Swim for Wishes donated $30 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in exchange for time to swim in the pool, breakfast snacks and a chance to meet Pioneer student-athletes and coaches on the deck. A number of East Bay student-athletes got into the pool as well, getting their Saturday workouts in alongside participants that included athletics staff, campus faculty and staff, CSUEB students and local swimmers.

Despite a cold and wet morning, the success of the event was encouraging for Loorz, who hopes to make the Swim for Wishes an annual occurrence.

"It was a bit drizzly in the morning, so next year I'm looking forward to better weather and an even bigger turnout," Loorz said.

All proceeds from the event go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. It is the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 76 chapters in the United States and its territories and 27 international affiliates on five continents.

Make-A-Wish has been the chosen charity of the NCAA Division II Student Athlete-Advisory Committee (SAAC) since the 2003-04 school year, when schools raised $45,000 for the organization. Since then, fundraising totals have grown annually with the seven-year total now exceeding $500,000.

Last year, the Cal State East Bay SAAC raised over $2,400 for Make-A-Wish and joined with the 11 other conference teams to contribute nearly $20,000 to the organization during the 2009-10 school year, ranking third among all conferences in Division II. With the funds raised from the Swim for Wishes, along with other events to benefit Make-A-Wish in the works, Cal State East Bay appears set to top last year's total and continue to make a difference with the organization as the Pioneers complete their final year in the transition to Division II.

For more information or to donate to Make-A-Wish, visit the Foundation's Web site at www.wish.org. To find out more about what NCAA Division II is doing to support Make-A-Wish, visit www.diicommunity.org.

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