News Brief: Athletes host first annual banquet

The Student Athletic Advisory Council presented $400 to the Arlington Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless at the group’s first annual banquet in the Smith Center Thursday night.

The donation came from profits of SAAC’s fall date auction, which raised more than $2,000. The remaining portion will fund SAAC events and activities next year, SAAC president and senior gymnast Lindsey Ferris said. The banquet also raised money for SAAC with a $10 entry fee. Athletic Director Jack Kvancz, Assistant Athletic Director Mary Jo Warner and about 140 athletes attended the banquet.

Sheila Hoben, AACH representative and former SAAC head academic advisor, received the donation for the outreach program.

After dinner, SAAC awarded several athletes mock honors commemorated by painted paper plates.

Senior swimmer Wesley Teter won “biggest flirt,” senior baseball player Dan Rouhier was named “most likely to end up in a comedy series,” and sophomore soccer player Jeff Greenspan was selected “smartest” athlete. The “cutest potential couple” award went to freshman basketball player Alexis Darling and Brad Friedlander, a sophomore on the golf team.

Rouhier, who emceed the date auction in the fall, brought the same comical atmosphere to the banquet as the date auction ceremonies.

“The main reason for the banquet was so we could present the date auction’s earnings to Sheila Hoben in a formal way,” senior basketball player and SAAC member Leslie Carlson said. “But we are also going to enjoy ourselves and have some fun with the nonsense awards and prizes.”

SAAC serves as a liaison between athletes, administrators and the NCAA, Ferris said. Carlson said the council began as an academic organization to benefit administrators and faculty, but it is evolving into a more student-focused group with a wider variety of programs to help athletes balance their academic and athletic schedules.

“The SAAC is definitely becoming more student-focused,” Carlson said. “The money we made at the date auction and the money we are making tonight, are just two examples of ways we are helping out athletes as well as charity organizations in D.C. and in the surrounding areas.”
-Michael Augello

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