Volume 93, Issue 55
Tuesday, December 7, 1999
Please sir, may we have more?
I'VE ALREADY GIVEN MY SHIRT AND PANTS, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT ME TO GIVE FOR FUND-RAISING? The Rugby team's calendar is one of many fund-raising efforts by Western teams to await approval.
By Chad Thompson
Like Luke Skywalker raising his ship from the swamp in The Empire Strikes Back, Western's sports teams have started to raise funds.
Darwin Semotiuk, chair of Western's Intercollegiate Athletics, said the initiating of fund-raising ideas require they follow a process. "We do have a formal approval process and clearance is required to maintain an element of control."
Semotiuk said the ideas range from charity dinners and silent auctions to more specific projects. He added in today's university environment, fund-raising is needed more than ever. "It is necessary now because of the financial pressure the programs are under," he said.
When it comes to successful fund-raising events, Semotiuk said there have been many, but one stands out in his mind. "One of the more successful ones was the silent auction dinner held by the UWO rugby team last year. It was a great event with great buy-in from the participants and coaches, as well as the corporate community."
Western swim coach Glen Belfry said fund-raising is critical to his team, especially with their training session in Florida over the Christmas holidays. "It costs around $25,000 to go the camp. We have built up an endowment fund. Foundation Western usually gives you five or six per cent of what you raise. Right now, we are close to $20,000.
"We are at a point where we have a significant number [of alumni] and they're getting to be over 30 [years old] and have more income," Belfry said, adding he felt it is not always the team's responsibility to fund-raise. "It's a big commitment to swim and go to school. I look at it as not their responsibility they have enough pressure as student athletes."
Semotiuk said he and his committees oversee Western's varsity teams, but not the club teams.
Andrew von Tiedman, coach and co-captain of the Western ski team, which holds club status, said fund-raising is crucial. "It is the most important part. We can always go skiing and afford the basic levels tickets to the races and such. In order to have our jackets and our shirts, we need sponsors and fund-raising. We have a tremendous sponsor in Absolute Student Housing [and] a big raffle we had two weeks ago was very successful."
Von Tiedman added despite their efforts, the members of the team still have to pay a fee. "Every racer will have to pay $175 that will cover their six races, insurance, their race set up fees and so on. The purpose of the fund-raising is to pay for all the uniforms.
With teams increasing their exposure, sponsors can be assured they are receiving some publicity as well, Tiedman said, adding he felt this situation has aided his team. "The team has progressed in the last four or five years, we have had a lot more publicity and a lot more recognition in the school environment and we are the perfect target market for certain people."
One fund-raising effort currently awaiting approval is the rugby squad's attempt at a team calendar. Lucas Atkins, centre for the team and calender organizer, said he felt it was a good fund-raising idea. "I think it will do well, most people need a calendar. It's professionally done and only costs $10," he said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999