Originally published in Castine Patriot, December 12, 2019
Friendly competition raises money for MMA
by Monique Labbe
The teams in the Maine Maritime Academy athletics department are not just competing on the court, field or in the pool this December; they are also competing against each other.
The department launched a 31 Days of Giving campaign on December 1, with the goal for each respective team to raise as much money as possible through donations and other fundraising efforts.
“The money goes into project accounts for each specific program and the uses will vary by program and by year. We typically use fundraised dollars for program enhancements that go beyond the standard budget items,” said MMA Athletic Director Stephen Peed.
The money has been used for things such as the golf team’s golf simulator, heart rate monitoring GPS watches, and cultural events when a team is visiting a city, among other things.
“It really depends upon an individual program’s needs at any given time,” said Peed.
The idea was hatched during a conversation between Peed and Craig Dagan, Maine Maritime Academy’s women’s basketball coach. Both felt strongly that the athletics department was doing its best to contribute to the academy’s critical campaign of raising more funds for scholarships for incoming students, largely through alumni donations.
“As frontline recruiters, we know from first-hand experience how important making our education more affordable to students is for the long-term well-being of the academy,” said Peed. “We have an unbelievable education to offer and too often we are the first, second and third choice for a student who just can’t make the financial side of things work. We need to reduce the gap between what a family can afford and what the education costs to provide.”
The teams have been reaching out to alumni through email, phone calls, social media and face-to-face conversations, according to Peed. While the programs are competing against each other, the only prize awarded at the end of it will be bragging rights.
“We are pretty competitive people and we all want to win. Our alumni are competitive too. We are trying to appeal to that. The real winners are all of the current and future students whose experience is improved or education is more affordable as a result of the generosity of our alumni,” he said.
Those interested in donating can do so by selecting a team via a dropdown option at mainemaritime.edu/support-mma.