ELON, N.C. – For the past six months, Elon student-athletes have been pulling tabs off all aluminum cans in sight to help the Phoenix win. This competition had nothing to do with athletic skill but everything to do with numbers.
The collection was for the Southern Conference’s “Keeping Tabs on Kids” program to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities across the conference. The SoCon’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) have been engaged in a competition to see which school could collect the most pop tabs. Elon’s SAAC finished second among the 12 league schools with 135,120 tabs.
All 18 of Elon’s varsity sports participated in the tab collection with the cheerleaders winning the friendly competition among the programs.
Every week SAAC President Dale Riley would weigh the tabs in the training room to see how much had been acquired. Just before April 1, all the tabs were sent to the SoCon offices where Elon’s crop was compared to the rest of the conference schools.
More than 600,000 tabs were collected from the SoCon member institutions. Western Carolina came in first with 182,264 tabs, while Wofford followed Elon with 107,278. The SoCon’s “Keeping Tabs on Kids” program was created in an effort to unite the conference SAAC’s under one project. With Ronald McDonald houses in all four states, each school will get to enjoy the effort put forth during the year.
“Elon’s participation as a whole was great,” said Riley. “Student-athletes, administration, faculty and staff were all really driven. I had people just handing me tabs all the time. So many people participated or had a heart to participate by spreading the word to others. It was so encouraging to see how many people wanted to help. We wanted to win but at the end of the day it was all about raising money for the charity.”
The SoCon SAAC agreed that participating in the tab collection for the Ronald McDonald House was a way to encourage maximum participation from the greatest number of student athletes across member campuses.
“We are thrilled with the participation our schools have with this program,” said Southern Conference Associate Commissioner Sue Arakas. “This is a good way for our schools to give back to the community as a conference SAAC and to benefit the lives of many children.”
For more information about the Ronald McDonald House Charities and it pop tabs program, visit RMHC.org.