Learn about IC PRSSA’s most recent accomplishment, the 15th Annual Swish for Make-A-Wish Basketball Tournament told by the PRSSA Blog Team.
By: Jessie Walker
On April 16, 2016, the Ithaca College chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (IC PRSSA) hosted its 15th annual basketball tournament to raise money for Make-A-Wish Central New York. Many hours went into the planning of the event, as the entire spring semester is dedicated to acquiring sponsors, building awareness of the event, developing promotional materials and a social media campaign, and of course, getting students to sign up to play in the tournament.
All of the proceeds that were raised for the event went directly to Make-A-Wish Central New York, which means that this money will help the grant wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses in the Central New York area surrounding Ithaca, NY. Make-A-Wish dedicates itself to grants wishes to children with life-threatening diseases. Each wish is unique and could be anything from going to Disney World to becoming Batman for a day. Whatever the wish might be, Make-A-Wish strives “to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid.” They work to make the world a better place for the wish children, which in turn could give them a more positive attitude towards their treatments.
Swish for Make-A-Wish was incredibly successful, and PRSSA raised over $3,000! Twelve teams played in two separate brackets – semi-pro and pro, and raffles for gift cards to local businesses and a variety of delicious food made the tournament even more fun! During the lunch time hour, there was a special raffle where basketball players entered to compete in a game of Knockout, and the winner won a one-night stay at a local spa. The most special part of the event was meeting Lillian, a wish kid. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor at a very young age, and but was able to have her wish to go to Disney World to meet Princess Ariel granted by the Make-A-Wish Central New York. In the middle of the half time hour, her dad told everyone her story and about their adventures in Disney and eating lots of ice cream! It was a surreal way to see how the Swish for Make-A-Wish fundraiser can benefit children, parents, and families.
When it comes to fundraising for a great cause like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, events are a great PR tool to build awareness of the non-profit organization, as well as raise money. It provides people with face-to-face interactions, and can be much more beneficial than just raising money online. In the best case scenario, organizations should utilize both, like Swish for Make-A-Wish did. Holding the event rallies everyone together to show them that they are supporting a worthwhile cause. Because the players, volunteers, and spectators were able to meet Lillian and see the results of their contributions, it made it all the more special. IC PRSSA wants to thank all of the players, volunteers, and sponsors that helped make Swish for Make-A-Wish a success!