Pioneers claim NWC Fundraiser of the Year for sixth time in seven years

Pioneers claim NWC Fundraiser of the Year for sixth time in seven years


FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has once again earned the title of Northwest Conference Fundraiser of the Year, the sixth time in seven years the group has won the conference’s 48-hour fundraising challenge.

Lewis & Clark SAAC earned a total of $4,213 for Special Olympics Oregon in February, over $3,700 of which came during the 48-hour period through their Coin & Cash Drive and silent auction that concluded with the Pioneers’ basketball doubleheader with Puget Sound on Feb. 3.

In addition, women’s basketball junior and SAAC Special Olympics Liaison Kelley Koeppen led a challenge to raise money in support of Special Olympics Oregon’s Polar Plunge last weekend. Along with five other student-athletes, Lewis & Clark Director of PE/Athletics Shana Levine and Director of Student-Athlete Development Kayleigh McCauley, the group raised $435 more.

“The fundraising efforts this year were a complete team effort,” said McCauley. “Our executive board members did a fantastic job organizing multiple events within the 48-hour competition period, and all of our student-athletes canvassed campus to collect coins and cash and maximized the use of online donations to drive up the total dollars raised.”

The effort continued a long-standing relationship between Lewis & Clark Athletics and Special Olympics Oregon.

“It was a great feeling to know that all our efforts were going to benefit Special Olympics Oregon,” said SAAC secretary Kassie Kometani, a sophomore for women’s swimming. “Our fundraising success was hopefully able to inspire other schools in our conference.”

At the NWC’s meeting of member schools’ SAAC groups, Kometani was also named NWC secretary for the upcoming year.

McCauley, who is also a SAAC advisor, said SAAC was intentional about providing many opportunities for the Lewis & Clark community to contribute to the cause, and they saw results, as the group raised more money from the 48-hour drive this year than the $3,515 they brought in last year. She hopes to see participation in both the 48-hour fundraiser and the Polar Plunge grow next year.

“As a group, the student-athletes are wanting to get more involved in our community and with our continued partnership with Special Olympics, and the Polar Plunge seemed like a great fit,” said McCauley. “We are looking forward to getting a larger group of student-athletes out there to plunge next year.”

If you’re interested in providing help for the 2017-18 Lewis & Clark SAAC 48-hour fundraiser, such as donating items to the silent auction, please contact McCauley at