SACNAS fundraiser comes up short

By By Marjorie Mackey

By Marjorie Mackey

The Utah Chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science planned to raise $1,000 in scholarship money for minority students through a soccer tournament June 28, but walked away with only $100.

Soccer players statewide spent the day competing in a tournament at the U for scholarships that would have given students an opportunity to attend the society’s national conference this year in Salt Lake City.

The tournament was well-advertised, but it was a busy weekend, said Moises Terrazas, chapter president.

The chapter hoped to raise enough money this year to send at least four students to the conference. Three teams showed up to play compared with 10 teams two years ago. The chapter decided not to charge each team to play, but still gave $100 to the winning team from a $200 donation it received.

The SACNAS is a national organization focused on encouraging minorities to study science, said Ricardo Montenegro, public relations director for the Utah Chapter of SACNAS. The purpose of the organization is to provide support and reach out to minority students who are interested in science-related fields but don’t have the help to keep pursuing their dreams, he said.

The society encourages students by providing them with advice, grant opportunities and anything else they need, Montenegro said.

The U has the only active chapter in the state. There are 19 members pursuing degrees in medicine, psychology and science, he said.

“The money we get will go to students who unfortunately cannot afford to go to the conference,” Montenegro said.

The national conference in October will cost $250 per student. More than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctorate students, and professors from all over the country will attend, Terrazas said.

The conference gives students the opportunity to present their research.

“It’s well worth (the money),” Terrazas said. “You create a lot of networks and opportunities for the students.”

This is the second soccer tournament the society organized. It was able to send four students to the conference held in Florida two years ago.

“We were happy with the results two years ago,” Terrazas said. “This year, we were just very thankful for the three teams that showed up.”

Despite the low turnout, the chapter received donations from employees at the U and Salt Lake Community College.

“I think with this strong team…of very committed (volunteers)…we’ll meet our goal to send at least four this year to the Salt Lake City SACNAS conference,” Terrazas said.

The chapter is already planning another tournament or race in September to reach its goal, he said.

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