Funding the future

Ferris athletics hauls in over $70,000 in one donation day

Alongside major success within the whole university, Bulldog Athletics made a huge stride forward last Wednesday through their One Day for Dawgs campaign.

Ferris sport-related programs, according to the online giving site, brought in a total of $71,072 during the 24-hour window. This chunk amassed approximately 31% of the total funds given through the day amongst all 157 fundraisers.

“It means a lot to me that people care about our program and want to help it grow,” senior soccer player Isabella Sabo said. “People are recognizing our hard work and want to donate to us.”

While the number of dollars was very high, the total amount raised during One Day for Dawgs was about 25 percent less than the effort a year ago. This came after a 25 percent increase from 2021 to 2022.

According to Associate Athletic Director Rob Bentley, this likely could have been caused by a slight structure change that tightened up the 24-hour window compared to years past.

Graphic by: Sienna Parmelee |Production Manager

“A change was made this year in that it truly was a one-day and 24-hour giving window for this cause,” Bentley said. “In years past, it typically opened in advance of the scheduled date and there was a larger window in which these funds were counted toward this initiative.”

Out of the 13 athletics-related programs involved, it was soccer who led the teams in fundraising efforts this year with $10,051. Soccer coach Greg Henson’s team was shooting for a $9,000 final goal, but faithful family, friends and fans helped them surpass their goal for the third year in a row. The team will now be able to afford a digital video camera system that tracks the action of practices and games, allowing an advanced, portable and non-player required method of filming.

“We couldn’t do it without the donors, and we are so grateful they chose to help us,” Sabo said. “The equipment and gear we will be able to get with this money will help us grow as a program and continue to be the best team we can be.”

Following soccer was the hockey and football teams with over $9,000 worth of funds with each program. Both teams were looking to improve facilities­ — hockey with an enlarged team weight room and football with new tackling and blocking sleds on the practice field.

When asking returning hockey team captain Brenden MacLaren, he said any improvement makes a large difference in their dynamic.

“The improvement of our facilities has led to our arena and locker room being a place our team can enjoy coming in and working hard every day. Advancing our facilities every year, whether it’s a small improvement or large, can make a huge difference.”

Other notable team efforts included volleyball earning $8,000, men’s basketball receiving $7,379 and track and field getting $7,005.

Some other programs receiving donations included broadcast communications, the Bulldog Athletic Association and the strength and conditioning program. These supportive programs benefit all the athletes at Ferris State in one form or another.

“The support of our donors is essential to our athletics programs,” Bentley said. “The One Day for Dawgs event has been important to each of our teams to provide funding for initiatives outside of the normal budget and other fundraising activities they do throughout the year.”

This day often means a lot to many Bulldog fans, coaches and athletes, as much of the annual funding comes through this 24-hour effort. Seeing the Bulldog support system is very inspiring to many athletes, especially for MacLaren.

“The consistent improvement of our athletic programs not only impact our current student athletes, but also shows the value of our programs for our future Ferris State athletes.”

As many spring seasons enter their final stretches, be on the lookout for huge advancements coming soon for Ferris State Athletics by this fall.

Brandon Wirth is both a student-athlete for the Ferris’ track and field team and a sports reporter for the Torch.