For the second year in a row, SUNY Brockport hosted its “Athletics’ Day of Giving” on March 3. A day to “Go Big For Brockport”, the college used the day to encourage alumni, parents, staff, and more to donate to Brockport’s many athletic teams.
The 23 NCAA Division III teams and athletic department raised over $97,000 this year. The money will be used for new equipment, travel, and upgrading facilities.
After all the money was collected, three awards of $3,750 were given out. The highest number of overall donors award was given to baseball with 407 donors. Football received the largest award of $10,000. The award for the highest number of first-time donors was given to gymnastics, with 74 first-time donors.
The three teams that raised the most money were baseball ($26,019.50), football ($22,135.07), and gymnastics ($6,723.61). The Athletic Department itself raised $16,298.66.
After raising a little over $30,000 last year, the athletic department partnered with the Office of Advancement and Marketing/Communications to put together this year’s Day of Giving. With the majority of the donations coming from alumni, the department raised $67,000 more than last year. Athletic Director Erick Hart credits the increase to a great team effort.
“Gil Burgmaster (Assistant Athletic Director) worked with colleagues across campus to pull off the successful campaign this year. The group had a communication plan and really did a great job promoting the event,” said Hart.
The athletic department plans to put the money they raised toward branding, as well as facility enhancements around the Tuttle Athletic Complex.
The team with the most money raised this year was the Men’s Baseball team. Head Coach Justin Beach says he was proud of what his team was able to accomplish.
“Honestly, it was one of my proudest moments as a part of our Brockport Baseball family. To have the number of friends, family, and alumni willing to support our program was just amazing,” said Beach.
Throughout the year, the baseball team prided itself on becoming close with its fans and supporters. They made sure that raising this money wasn’t a one-day effort. They made personalized videos and kept in contact with their supporters throughout the year, doing things such as sending Christmas cards. Beach says he plans on using the money they received toward player development.
“We would really like to improve our indoor facility so our players can continue to train and improve year-round,” said Beach.
Football received the second most money from donations, as well as receiving the largest donation, at $10,000. This isn’t Head Coach Jason Mangone’s number one priority though.
“That’s really not that important to us because we want to see all the teams do well so the student-athletes on each team get the support needed to give everyone a great experience,” said Mangone.
Mangone says he plans to put the money toward a new video board for the stadium. The video board will be purchased through corporate donations and alum/friends donations and will not only make the athlete’s experience better but the spectators as well.
The gymnastics team, coached by Rene Lyst, received the third-highest amount of donations. Coach Lyst explained that although the team is large for a gymnastics roster, it is small compared to the roster size of most other Brockport teams. Because of this, her team took to social media to help provide awareness to the program. This method worked, as they now have over $6,500 to put toward things such as apparel, equipment, special events, travel, meals, etc.
The team also had the highest number of new donors out of any other program. Lyst credits this to how young her team is.
“Most of us are new really to the program. I am new. I have eight freshmen and 13 sophomores. Each person we reached out to provided a new opportunity. I am proud that we really got into the competition of the day and were able to earn some extra funding for the program,” said Lyst.
Not every team was able to raise as much as these three did. Five different teams raised under $1,000. While those teams won’t have much extra funding this year, the athletic department will look to continue this event in upcoming years, and give all teams a chance to grow and make their programs the best they can be.