Student Athletes Make Wishes Come True

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 8:41 PM
Student Athletes Make Wishes Come True by William Stevens

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been granting the wishes of children for years now.

Edinboro University has granted a wish during a basketball game three times in the last few years. This year, Edinboro will host a basketball game on Feb. 16 where they will be granting yet another wish.

“It’s now become an annual event,” Athletics Director Bruce Baumgartner said. “This will be our third event. The NCAA has taken Make-A-Wish on as their charity of choice.”

“Last year, we were the number one school in raising money,” he said. “As a result of that we have the option to grant a wish on our campus.”

Baumgartner mentioned they call it the Make-A-Wish awareness night “which will try to raise [further] money for Make-A-Wish.”

“A lady named Jan Stork out of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Make-A-Wish group out of Erie helps us with the wishes. The money that we raise locally, most of it comes back locally.”

Accodinging to Baumgartner, last year Edinboro University raised over $13,000.

“The first year we gave a young man out of Warren a puppy and with that a year of food. It was a pretty cool thing for them,” said Baumgartner.

“Last year, we sent a little girl out of Meadville to Hawaii, and we presented that here.”

“You can just see the smiles on the kids’ faces.”

“We have a pretty good thing,” Baumgartner said. “We’re going to have some surprises on the sixteenth. The money we raise goes back to help a little boy or girl.

“When you see and hear the stories, and then see the joy on those kids’ face... it’s pretty cool. You’re making a huge impact on some little kid’s life.”

Baumgartner also said they tend to get one question a lot: “Why do it on Edinboro’s campus?”

“Obviously, we always strive for our best, and it’s kind of a challenge with other Division II schools. “I think our student athletes are not necessarily worried about being number one, but we hope we’re providing for our community and giving back.”

He continued, “I think it’s important as an institution to be involved because Edinboro University athletics has a commitment to our students and our community. We want to provide a great educational opportunity for our students.”

Baumgartner also highlighted some important things student athletes learn through this event and others like it.

“We try to teach our student athletes... the values of being good people. We have each one of our teams do [some form of] offcampus community service. “

Athletics teach you... about the hard work, dedication, perseverance, goal setting, time management, and the classroom, [but] we also want to teach young men and women to give back to society and be good individuals.”

Edinboro University’s athletic department is hoping to sell Make-A-Wish stars for the event as a way to raise money. The stars cost $1 each and their goal is to raise $3,000 for the event.

“A wish costs anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000, so the NCAA says if you raise over $5,000 you will get a wish on your campus. When a student that bought a star last year sits in the stands, they’re going to say ‘well there’s where my money went.’

“It shows that you don’t have to be ridiculously rich to help somebody; a dollar here and there makes a big difference.”

All the funds raised will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation after the event.

“I hope people realize that...there’s a lot of people on our campus helping to make this successful. We would like to promote Make-A-Wish with our 18 to 25-year-old students.

“[We want to] teach them...that there are charities out there that are good, wholesome places to volunteer and help the little kids. We try to do things to help people.”

Baumgartner also mentioned that the studen athletes who are involved in the event helped come up with ways they could help keep the child receiving the wish happy. He also explained that there will be a couple of surprises on the night of the event.

For more information, contact Bruce Baumgartner at or contact his office at (814) 732-1823.

William Stevens is the Campus Life Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at

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