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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 1, 2005

Make-A-Wish Foundation Honors UIAA Student Group

The Iowa Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation has selected the University of Iowa Alumni Association's (UIAA) Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (S.T.A.T) Ambassadors group as the winner of the 2005 Abracadabra Award. The ambassadors were honored for their Gameday Celebration, working with UI Sports Marketing to give children the chance to see an Iowa football game and to meet coaches and players.

This award is given annually to an individual organization that has gone above and beyond expectations in creating magic in the wish-experience of Iowa children. "The Make-A-Wish organization feels that it is not simply enough to grant a wish. They strive to make wishes truly magical," said Cindy Meis, UIAA assistant director of programs.

"The ambassador group has consistently demonstrated that spirit over the past decade with your Gameday Celebration," said Brett Ridge, Make-A-Wish Iowa Chapter executive director.

Emily Vaughan of Ankeny, S.T.A.T Ambassador president and Kim Kenne of Mason City, event chair, attended the Make-A-Wish Foundation Iowa Chapter Annual Conference on Oct. 29 to receive this award.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to providing activities for terminally and severely ill children and their families.

For the 2005 Game Day event on Sept. 17, 16 eastern Iowa children in the Make-A-Wish program enjoyed a UI football weekend starting with a tailgate party. After attending the game, the children met members of the UI football team and coaching staff, who also signed autographs. Many area businesses also supported the effort, providing food, games, and prizes.

Major sponsors of the 2005 Game Day included: the UI Alumni Association, the UIAA S.T.A.T. Ambassadors, UI Athletics, Hy-Vee, Cookies by Design, Aero Rental, Carousel Motor, Old Capital Screen Printers, KCJJ Radio. Other sponsors included: University Book Store & Hawk Shop, Coral Ridge Mall, Signs & Screen Printers, Sweets & Treats, Pizza Pit, Riverside Theatre, Iowa House, Sheraton, Crystal Clear, Godfather's Pizza, Pagliai's Pizza, Whitey's Ice Cream and Lenoch & Cilek Ace Hardware

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Cindy Meis, UIAA assistant director of programs, 319-335-3854