Picture the following scenario – a single group of college students fundraises $13,000 in just under two hours. It doesn’t seem even remotely possible, does it? Well, by doing just that, the Tiffin University Men’s Wrestling Team surprised the whole campus last year with their outstanding commitment to TU’s improvement, and showed that athletes have no problem hustling both on and off the mats.
Now entering its fourth year, the annual Giving Day campaign is an opportunity for students, staff, faculty and all friends of Tiffin University to make a difference in the future of the institution through philanthropy. All of this is done with a singular goal in mind – making campus a better place to live, work and learn. This year, the University’s many clubs and teams hope to follow in the wrestlers’ footsteps by securing large donations of their own, showing that they also aren’t afraid to hustle for the greater good.
For those wondering how the team managed to pull off such a remarkable feat,Antonio Guerra, Head Men’s Wrestling Coach has the answer.
“Our wrestlers have a very competitive mindset and challenged one another to raise as much as possible,” he explained. “We asked each of the teammates and coaches to identify 10 people they could connect with and ask to support the program. Thanks to their incredible drive, we far exceeded our goal.”
According to Coach Guerra, another motivator for the wrestlers was that they knew their efforts would ultimately support a worthwhile cause.
“The team called, texted and emailed all sorts of people – friends, family, old coaches and alumni teammates,” he remembered. “We also posted the Giving Day link on all of our social media platforms. Each guy knew the funds would enhance the student-athlete experience, and they really worked as the team they are to get the job done, encouraging each other through it all.”
Their ultimate goal was to purchase five new Rogue Echo Airdyne Bikes for strength training and endurance purposes, as well as fund several team bonding activities. It’s safe to say that the TU wrestlers were able to achieve this and then some.
“The addition of the bikes enhances the training facility’s capabilities and is also attractive to prospective student athletes,” said Guerra. “This helps the University with recruitment and retention efforts.”
Coach Guerra and the team were deeply touched by the generosity of those who donated to their campaign, especially that of people who were perfect strangers at the time. He asserts that even more so than the new equipment, the most valuable thing the wrestlers gained from the experience was a strengthened feeling of community.
“Participating in athletics gives students a sense of family,” he explained. “That closeness is very important in our program, and a wrestling family shares a bond like no other. These young men will make lifelong friends while here and remember their time at TU as a period of great growth and opportunity.”
Much like the rest of TU’s campus, those involved with the men’s wrestling team remain grateful to those who donated to their campaign and recognize the profound impact philanthropy in all forms has on the University.
“It allows our wrestlers to be successful both on and off the mats,” said Guerra. “It provides them with top-notch resources both academic and athletic, and enhances their overall experience as collegiate athletes. To all who helped us achieve our goal, I want to say thank you for your generosity. It has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.”
The wrestling coach claims that the team has set a new goal this year – to acquire more donations than any other University department, and to surpass last year’s total. Their drive has inspired other circles on campus to accept their challenge of a little friendly competition. One defining trait of TU’s Giving Day is that donors are able to specify which areas of campus they would like to support.
“It really is a phenomenal way to make sure your gift impacts the areas of campus about which you are passionate,” said Mikki King, Director of Annual Giving. “We hope you will consider taking the time to support your own favorite team, office or program during our 2022 Fuel the Fire campaign. It really will do more than you know to help our institution grow and thrive.”