Courtesy of Chico State
Mason is just nine years old and suffers from X-Linked Myotubular Muscular Dystrophy. He was one of many children hoping to have his wish granted through the good people at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Unfortunately, there are more kids with wishes than there are the funds to make those dreams come true.
And that’s where the student-athletes of Chico State stepped in.
The money came in small amounts--\$20 here, \$20 there—but after two-plus years of bake sales, raffles and dodgeball tournaments the Chico State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) reached its goal of \$5,000.
It’s an amount that will help make Mason’s wish come true.
The Chico State SAAC has participated in the very successful NCAA Division II national campaign that raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since 2003, Division II schools have raised an incredible \$1.5 million dollars, including over \$400,000 last year for this non-profit organization. Each year, the Chico State SAAC has held various fundraisers to meet a pre-determined goal with that money being directed to the NCAA to give to the national office of Make-A-Wish.
“As much as we liked doing this, there was always this feeling that we were sending money off and never getting to actually see the results of the hard work that our student-athletes put in,” said Mitch Cox, Assistant Director of Athletics at Chico State and the advisor to SAAC.
So nearly three years ago, the Chico State SAAC started to bank some of their fundraised dollars hoping to one day be able to grant a local child his or her wish.
“We still would make our annual contribution to the national campaign, but it became a real goal to help a local Chico child,” said Cox. “There have been a lot of starts and stops along the way, but we are thrilled to be able to help Mason make his wish come true.”
And just what is Mason’s wish? Not one of the more popular wishes, such as a trip to Disneyworld or Disneyland. Instead, Mason wants to appear on the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba” which is on Nick Jr. and produced down in Los Angeles.
Cox, along with current and past SAAC members, presented representatives of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, along with Mason and his family, a check for \$5,000 prior to the start of the Chico State men’s basketball game on Saturday, January 22 at 7:30 pm.
“This was great experience for our student-athletes, our fans, and all of us within the department,” said Cox. “The student-athletes deserve a world of credit for all the volunteer hours they put in to raise the money and the payoff was seeing the expression on Mason and his family’s faces.”