As part of this year’s auction for the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, we added a charitable component.
We separated out the #12 seeds from the auction, and instead designated charities for those seeds to play for. The idea being, if any of those teams made it past the first weekend and into the money, they would be winning for the charity.
To ensure that some charity made some money, the Viscount and I seeded a separate pot, and invited others at the auction to bid on the right to pick a #12 seed and designate a charity for it. That auction (plus the seed money, plus some additional on-the-spot contributions) meant $370 was going to some charity, for the #12 seed that did the best in terms of wins (point differential as the tiebreaker).
So we ended up with these teams playing for these charitable causes:
- Murray State and New Mexico State playing to benefit the Roland Park Annual Fund, which benefits the students of Roland park Elementary and Middle through broad base initiative to enrich and extend the curriculum.
- Liberty playing for House of Ruth, Maryland, confronting the causes of domestic abuse, and giving aide to those seeking to break free from it.
- Oregon playing for Great and Small which simultaneously provides a home for thoroughbred horses and gives them a new mission of being support animals for those with special emotional and developmental needs of all ages.
Oregon upset Wisconsin and then UC Irvine (who had in turn beaten #4 Kansas State) to make the sweet 16, and so that meant a nice donation to Great and Small.
The Viscount and I made a trek this past Thursday to Howard County, Maryland, through hilly horse country and a sprinkling of new subdivisions, to the Great and Small facility.
There we met the director of the program, and a whole bunch of friendly horses. Turns out not all are thoroughbreds, but they were all happy to say hi and pose for the camera.
We learned that the Great and Small program provides equine therapy to over 55 clients each week, and that the results can be astonishing to family members.
So feel free to spread the word about the great work they do there and go ahead and click on that link above to learn more or give yourself.