Iowa Wesleyan University has taken the lead in the race for the 2016-17 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) Service Award. The conference service award recognizes schools that make a difference in their community through holding fundraisers, participating in community service, and volunteering with local organizations.
Iowa Wesleyan totaled 11,850 points in the first semester of the school year. Student-Athletes from Iowa Wesleyan totaled over 980 volunteer hours this past semester. In addition they raised $500 in donations for a basketball alum in his battle against cancer and sent nearly 300 items to Africa for a mission trip.
Webster University is currently in second place in the award standings with 8,290 points. The Gorloks had a whopping 268 people volunteer during the semester, accounting for 829 hours of community service.
MacMurray College totaled 7,773 total points with nearly 500 community service hours as part of the total. In addition the Highlanders collected canned food items and clothing for local shelters. MacMurray has won the previous three SLIAC/SAAC Service Awards.
Westminster College finished with 4,715 total points in the first semester. The Blue Jays accumulated nearly 455 hours of community service with a large portion of that coming from a weekend of volunteering at a local Special Olympics event. In addition Westminster raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project and Blue Jay Food Pantry.
Fontbonne University totaled 3,529 points in the contest. With almost 85 student-athletes and coaches volunteering this past fall the Griffins donated almost 1,300 hours of their time to various organizations including the Shining Light Tree Lot, St. Louis Arc, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Fontbonne also collected clothing and other various items to donate to local shelters.
The SLIAC SAAC Service Award was created in 2013 which would recognize an institution that went above and beyond in giving back to their community. From 2013-16 the conference utilized a conference wide canned food drive competition to determine a winner during each sport season and one overall winner for the academic year. In 2016 the SLIAC further developed the award criteria to include community service projects, collections (food and clothing), and donations. Full criteria for the competition is listed below: