New fundraising venture takes Mount Mary University athletics students to the big leagues
By ANDJELKA BOGUNOVIC
If you see a Mount Mary University athlete working concessions at Miller Stadium during a Brewers game, be sure to say hi. She’ll be wearing a beige baseball cap with a light blue brim, adorned with the Mount Mary logo.
Mount Mary athletes and coaches earn a percentage of the proceeds collected at each game to help pay for new sports equipment or tournament and travel expenses. This percentage varies depending on the size of the booth and amount of student athletes working.
According to Mark Heidorf, Mount Mary’s athletic director, if members of one team work a particular date, that team will get all of the money raised.
“We haven’t been given our proceeds yet but once we do, SAC (the Student Athlete Advisory Committee) will sit down and decide how to divide the money,” Baumgart said.
The athletes began working concessions on March 31 and have worked five games so far. They will work their last game on May 26.
According to Heidorf, this opportunity was chosen because of its potential to raise a large amount of money in a short period of time.
Sportservice is a non-profit organization that runs the stand and concessions that athletes sell. Heidorf hopes this fundraising opportunity will be a big success. “Other colleges in the area such as Alverno swear by it,” Heidorf said.
Athletes arrive at Miller Stadium an hour before the gates open and leave an hour after the game. Mount Mary student Katie Edwards is a member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams and has worked two games. “It’s a lot of hard work but it’s fun,” Edwards said. “It keeps your energy up.”
Athletes attend a training seminar held by Sportservice prior to running the concession stand. “They take us through register training, food safety and even how to spot a fake I.D.,” said
Taylor Baumgart, who plays on Mount Mary’s volleyball and basketball teams and is a member of the student athletic committee.
The athletic department is required to work six games this spring semester and six games in the fall semester. Heidorf encourages every athlete to work at least one game.
“There is always one member of Sportservices in our booth, two coaches and six to seven students,” Heidorf said.
Each team has a set budget for the year and is in need of new equipment. “In the big picture there’s no doubt that new equipment, such as soccer and volleyball nets, plays a huge role in the athletes’ performance,” Heidorf said.
The future of this fundraising program depends on the amount of money raised. “We’ll do our 12 dates, look at how much we made and then decide if it’s a good expenditure of our time,” Heidorf said.
“It’s more than just fundraising,” Edwards said. “It’s a way to get our athletic name out there other than just on campus. It’s a way of making people aware that Mount Mary has athletics.”