Hoops for Hunger puts groceries in the basket

By Jamie Macpherson

Competition was brewing both on and off the court at the men’s basketball games last Wednesday, January 27th, and Saturday, January 30th. The annual Hoops for Hunger event, a benefit for the Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf sponsored by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), was taking place with a new twist. This year, fans “voted with their pocketbook”, an idea borrowed from Bethel University by way of Concordia College. Fans bringing food or monetary donations to the games chose to place their contributions in a box for either Athletic Director Kim Chandler or Assistant Athletic Director Ron Osterman. Whoever collected the most donations would be duct-taped to the wall of the gym at halftime.

“It’s not the typical raffle-prize drawing event,” SAAC Chair Marie Godwin ’10 said. “It’s an event you don’t see anywhere. It’s got a little spunk.”

Osterman was the lucky winner, spending the second half of Saturday’s game taped above “Go Scots” at the East end of the gym.

This “spunk” was well worth it. Second Harvest Heartland is the largest food shelf in the upper Midwest, serving organizations in 59 counties across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

“With Hoops for Hunger we know we are helping people that live in our own community first,” Godwin said. “It is important for hunger-relief organizations to be able to collect food and funds all year round, not just during holidays like Thanksgiving when many food drive events usually take place.”

The SAAC plans on keeping the new “pocketbook” voting system for next year’s event and is hoping for even more participation.

“I think if we can get other campus figures to participate in the future, one of the RHDs or even Brian Rosenberg, that this event can grow to be a favorite event for many students on campus,” Godwin said.

While Macalester fell 62-80 to Bethel University on the 27th and 51-86 to St. Thomas University on the 30th, Hoops for Hunger was a success. Fans donated over 100 pounds of food and raised $160 in cash. For each dollar donated, Second Harvest can distribute more than $9 of food. Way to go Scots!