Newswise — The rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State will heat up off the hardwood next week, as students compete to raise the most money for Michigan children battling life-threatening medical conditions in the first-ever Make-A-Wish Collegiate Fundraising Challenge.
Called “Make Blue and Green Wishes Come True,” the fundraising event will help Make-A-Wish Michigan grant wishes for children in the Ann Arbor and Lansing communities. Students at U-M and MSU will set up donation drives across each campus through the week of Feb. 25, with the competition wrapping up before the rematch between the Wolverines and Spartans men’s basketball teams on March 3.
Make-A-Wish Michigan raises money to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Annually the Foundation grants hundreds of wishes to children in Michigan.
Brandon Yanik, a senior at U-M who created the event with the help of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, says the idea for the competition came about after talking with his father, Greg Yanik, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“My dad was telling me about Make-A-Wish, and I wanted to help out,” Brandon Yanik says. “A few friends and I came up with the idea of a collegiate challenge between U-M and MSU, structured similar to the U-M-OSU Blood Battle. We believe that every kid deserves to have their wish come true, and we want to do whatever is necessary to help.”
Wishes cost an average of $5,000, and Brandon Yanik says the goal for this year’s competition is to raise between $25,000 and $50,000 between the two campuses.
“We are so very excited to have students at two great universities fundraising to help make wishes come true” says Karen Davis, president & CEO of Make-A-Wish Michigan.
Former U-M head football coach Lloyd Carr, a longtime supporter of Mott Hospital, created a video message with Mott patients urging others to help make Blue and Green wishes come true. He says the in-state rivalry presents the perfect opportunity to help children in the state.
“Over the past three decades, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been a source of incredible inspiration to children all over the state of Michigan,” Carr says. “That is why we are so excited to be a part of the Collegiate Challenge, and we urge you to support us in our efforts to make every wish come true.”
Event Information:Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.Date: Feb. 25 – March 1Donation locations at U-M:• The Towsley triangle in University Hospital• Angell HallDonate online:• For Blue Wishes: http://friends.wish.org/022-000/page/Wolverine-Kids/Make-a-Blue-Wish-Come-True.htm• For Green Wishes: http://friends.wish.org/022-000/page/Spartan-Kids/Make-a-Green-Wish-Come-True.htm