Student athletes, local volunteers and the community came out to support the organization Students With Aspiring Goals, or SWAG during a drive-thru Rigatoni dinner fundraiser at the Italo-American Lodge in Merced.
SWAG helps prepare underprivileged student athletes to move on to four-year universities with well-rounded supplemental programs for success. They combine sports training, academic planning, and recruiting assistance to bridge the gap between students and universities.
Many of the adult mentors and coaches are former athletic stars from the local community, but members of the Merced business community were on board for the fundraiser. Kudos go to Mortgage Lender Joe Stefani, Realtor Mary Camper, Accountant Robert Garrett and Bimbo Bakeries for generous contributions that helped make the even happen.
Proceeds are going to help take 35 to 40 local athletes on a college tour of the University of Nevada at Reno and Boise State University in Idaho. Also, SWAG’s 7v7 football team and their AAU basketball team will be playing in a tournament in Boise. SWAG organizers say this will be a great experience for a group of valley kids who would probably never have this opportunity.
Also this week during Spring Break, SWAG and the group Symple Equazion has been involved with a youth camp at the McNamara Park Youth Center, teaching young middle-school kids about leadership, personal development and physical activity.