The second annual ASHPY awards, presented by Ashland University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, will take place on Sunday (April 30) at 7:30 p.m. in the Upper Convocation Center.
All proceeds from the ASHPY's will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After surpassing its goal of raising $5,000 for Make-A-Wish in 2015-16, SAAC's goal for 2016-17 is $8,000. The Ashland University community and the Ashland community at large are invited to attend the ASHPY's, and admission is a suggested donation for Make-A-Wish.
"$8,000 is a lot of money to raise, but this group doesn't shy away from challenges," said Rachel O'Connor, Ashland Director of Sports Marketing and Promotions and SAAC Advisor. "We're still hopeful to meet our mark. Regardless of what the total says at the end, SAAC has been incredible this year and once again blew expectations away."
"We are hoping to follow up our inaugural ASHPY's, which exceeded expectations, with an even better evening this year," said Zach Bernhard, Ashland SAAC President. "We expect an even bigger turnout, and there have been some additions made to this year's program.
"Obviously Make-A-Wish is a huge reason for all we do with SAAC, and while this night is about recognizing the athletes, we want to be sure we don't lose sight of what a great cause we fund-raise for throughout the year."
ASHPY awards will be announced in the following categories – 2017 Best Play of the Year, 2017 Best Game of the Year, 2017 Male Athlete of the Year, 2017 Female Athlete of the Year, 2017 Male Freshman of the Year, 2017 Female Freshman of the Year, 2017 Best Moment, 2017 Record-Breaking Performance, 2017 Best Comeback, 2017 Best Upset, 2017 Best Championship Performance, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017 Coach of the Year, 2017 Most Influential Team Captain, 2017 Community Service Award, 2017 GPA Award, 2017 Eagle of the Year, 2017 Perseverance and Courage Award, 2016 Spring Female Athlete, 2016 Spring Male Athlete and 2016 Spring Moment.
One of the new features for this year's ASHPY's awards is there will be an honorary wish family in attendance.
"We couldn't be more honored to have them there," O'Connor said.
Prior to the start of the awards program, at 6:30 p.m., there will be a photo booth with props for attendees, along with a few other attractions.
The ASHPY's and the steadfastness of SAAC in fundraising for Make-A-Wish are evidence of SAAC's growth in the last two academic years.
"Over the last two years, we've put more emphasis on this group, asked more of them and gave them more responsibility," O'Connor said, "and they've risen to the challenge and then some. As a student-run organization, leadership is key. SAAC President Zach Bernhard has taken on so much making sure the group succeeds.
"This whole group of graduating seniors have been crucial to the success. They've taken pride in what they do as a group, and have really set the standard of what it means to be a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee."