Keeping Cal Poly Pomona Green

Keeping Cal Poly Pomona Green
Thomas Ryan, a goal-keeper on the men?s soccer team, has helped lead recycling efforts.

It's been said that one man's trash is another man's treasure. For Cal Poly Pomona student-athletes, the art of recycling has been taken to a whole other level. One could say it has become another competitive sport for the California Collegiate Athletic Association member.

Since January, Bronco student-athletes have worked together – and even against each other – to assist the CCAA in its initiative to fund-raise for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Broncos in all sports collect and recycle bottles, cans and plastics in order to donate to the foundation and assist in keeping our environment green.

It's kind of like putting the green in the Bronco green and gold.

Leading the effort has been junior Thomas Ryan, a goal-keeper on the men's soccer team. Ryan is the Bronco Athletic Association treasurer and has been entrusted in delivering the items to a Pomona recycling center each week.

“I've always recycled at home,” said Ryan, who is an El Cajon native. “We started small and it's taken off. It's been successful because so many people are involved.”

Each week, Ryan and company load a Cal Poly Pomona van with their finds and then have the items separated into three groups – aluminum, plastic and glass.

According to Lorena Marquez, Cal Poly Pomona's marketing, promotions and game management coordinator, the group set a modest goal of $500 for the 3½ month project. The group has worked its way up from a baby-step like $35 in Week 1 to an impressive $206 allotment in early March.

The group figures to eclipse the $1,000-mark when the competition ends on Earth Day, April 22.

“Keeping Green has been a point of emphasis from President Ortiz,” Marquez said. “We've helped with Heal the Bay and RecycleMania. We want to do our part and our students have really taken this to another level. Plus, it'sa great fund-raiser and it's something that we can continue to have here at Cal Poly Pomona.”

It would be difficult not to spot the various recycle bins spread throughout Building 43 on campus. Just outside Marquez' office, there are 12 bins that represent each of the Broncos' athletic teams.

But the collecting doesn't just begin and end inside the Bronco athletic department. The women's basketball team even checked in a few bags of recyclables at a Northern California airport after a weekend of playing. The women's track and field team has been known to collect empty Gatorade and water bottles at meets.

The CCAA SAAC's primary fundraising activity has revolved around the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. It is the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 76 chapters in the United States and its territories and 27 international affiliates on 5 continents. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 110,000 wishes to children around the world since 1980.

The Division II National SAAC prides itself in being the forerunner of this particular initiative and is the only division thus far to sponsor a division-wide community service campaign. The Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraising campaign has been identified as a part of the Division II strategic plan and seeks to meet the plan outcome measures as addressed in the goals of student-athlete achievement and the enhancement of the Division II national identity.