Today@Sam Article

An Opportunity For Philanthropy

Dec. 21, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Crandall

Speed and Skills Combine Fundraiser for the American Heart AssociationSam Houston State University students studying Administration of Kinesiology & Sport with Associate Professor Brent Estes learned the art of fundraising first-hand this past fall semester. Tasked with organizing, marketing, and executing a fundraising event for a charitable cause of their choosing, the class raised $16,523.64 for 24 charities.

From 2008 to 2017, Estes’ class did a toy drive for Texas Children’s Hospital on a voluntary basis. Beginning Spring 2019, Estes further implemented a philanthropic element to his course with a class-wide fundraising project in the form of an on-campus color run benefitting Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands. That project raised over $12,000 which was used to purchase needed equipment for the hospital. This project required that students create and implement a fundraising event plan from start to finish.

This semester, Estes gave students more flexibility by letting each choose whether they wanted to work alone or with a partner, as well as what charity they wanted to raise money for. Estes believes this led his students to take more ownership of the project.

“There was a much more personal connection this time, because the charities they chose were important and special to each student,” Estes said. “I think that was a big motivator for them to really ensure that this was a worthwhile endeavor.”

Volleyball Tournament Fundraiser for SHSU Student AthleteProjects included a variety of sports related events that raised money for organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Ronald McDonald House and many more. The highest earning event was a flag football tournament that raised over $3,200 for three different charities. There was also a volleyball tournament to raise money for a SHSU student athlete battling cancer.

“This project was really exciting for me to plan and host,” said Colby Gonzalez, SHSU sophomore kinesiology major. “On the SHSU baseball team, one of my boyfriend’s teammates was told he had cancer. I instantly thought about how I could help him when this project was announced. Doing this fundraiser made me realize that even if you feel alone on any journey, so many are right behind ready to support you. I was not expecting the amount of people that showed up of the donations we received, but it showed how great a community Huntsville really is.”

As the Department of Kinesiology continues to grow and develop to match the workforce needs, Estes plans to continue offering these opportunities for students to make an impact outside the classroom.

“There has been a lot of discussion about building in more philanthropy and providing even more opportunities for our students to get experience in fundraising and development,” Estes said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these students and the work they put into it.”

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