Since Maryville College joined the USA South Athletic Conference in 2011, various teams have quickly made their presence known through their success on the field and court. By winning a second consecutive “Pennies for a Purpose” competition, Maryville College has made its presence known in the community as well.
The competition gives schools from the end of Christmas break until March 31 to collect loose change that is later given to an organization of the school’s choice. After winning the competition with around $500 last year, MC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the MC staff members raised $822.71 this year, which was enough to place far ahead of second place Methodist College, which finished with $480.91. The USA South institutions collected a total of $3,687.27.
Maryville College chose to donate to the Kay Yow Foundation and the Special Olympics. “As an organization we decided upon Special Olympics because it is an important foundation to many of us” Taylor Emerson, SAAC president said. “In addition, NCAA Division III athletics partners with Special Olympics.”
MC was creative and persistent with their fundraising, which allowed them to nearly double the second-place amount raised.
“SAAC members planned events such as selling USA South t-shirts before and after all men’s and women’s home basketball games and hosting halftime competitions. SAAC teamed up with intramurals in the three-point shootout and also hosted a corn hole tournament at a baseball game. Also, the MC women’s basketball team did a great amount of fundraising during Breast Cancer Awareness week, with the motivation to support the Kay Yow foundation,” Emerson said.
Almost half of the participating institutions donated proceeds to the Special Olympics. Other beneficiaries include The Wounded Warrior Project, The Children’s Miracle Network and a local animal shelter. Over the past seven years since the program’s creation, SAAC has collected and donated a total of $24,870 to local non-profits through Pennies for a Purpose.
Emerson and the SAAC thanked the MC community for their support, pointing out that the award truly epitomizes the values of the college.
“Winning this incredible award twice in a row says a lot about the people of the Maryville College community. It reminds me that I am surrounded by some of the most generous, humble, selfless individuals,” Emerson said. “I am constantly surprised by how much the people of this campus care about serving others.”