This is not your typical fundraising event.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, SVSU students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to come together in memory of Abou Traore, a late international student from Senegal, for the fifth annual Pros vs. Joe’s scholarship event. The scholarship is intended for students from Senegal.
“The scholarship is set up so that a student here will be able to get gain skills, get a degree, go back to his or her country and utilize the skills they have,” said Living Center North Resident Director Steve Farver.
In a means to raise money, a basketball game will be played. One team will be made up of players from SVSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams while the other team will be made up of faculty and staff at SVSU.
During the game, there are typically two women and three men from each team playing. The mystery is, who are the Joe’s and who are the Pros?
“The idea originated from a show called Pros vs. Joe’s,” Farver said. “We kind of took that concept and put it into, here’s our professional facility and staff members who work on a professional basis, and then we also have the men’s and women’s basketball teams that collaborate to play against the facility and staff.
“It’s kind of taking your average basketball goer against people that play quite a bit. “
Two players who aren’t strangers to the event are President Eric Gilbertson and J.J. Boehm, director of media relations. On Wednesday, these two will be joined by a few old faces and a quite a few new ones.
Participants will include individuals from the President’s Office, the Office of International Programs, the athletic department and Residential Life as well as kinesiology instructors and professors from other departments.
“We try to get a wide variety of people to participate,” Farver said. “It’s really interesting to get all those different perspectives.”
While students will not have the chance to play in the game, there are plenty of opportunities to participate.
Before Wednesday night, students can contribute by purchasing a wristband for $3, a t-shirt for $8 or both for $10. These items are being sold around campus, and if they are worn to the game students will receive two, five or eight raffle tickets respectively.
“All the raffle tickets will go towards winning prizes such as an iPad, a Nook, a Kindle Fire, a TV, a number of gift cards and other excellent prizes,” Farver said.
On the day of the game, students can purchase and win more raffle tickets, and the first 40 students have the chance to pay five dollars to play lightning at halftime for the chance to win an additional prize.
In addition to this, students can help any players who foul to get back in the game by donating money.
“A unique thing that we do is every time someone gets a foul, they go into a penalty box,” Farver said. “Then they have to raise money, from the crowd, to get back into the game.
“It’s kind of a neat thing, and again, it’s all about fundraising and trying to get the scholarship endowed.”
Aside from the prizes, the crowd will enjoy a pregame and halftime show. While the show for the halftime has not yet been released, the pregame show will showcase one of the African dance crews from intercultural night.
“It’s really special because Abou came from Senegal, Africa,” Farver said. “He was very involved with doing the international cultural night, so it’s really neat to get a crew that’s so highly connected to come here in honor of him.”
Abou Traore will also be honored with the Senegal flag being present and through the playing of the Senegal national anthem.
The events will not start until 8 pm, but doors open at 7 pm so that students can come and get their tickets.
“Students should come ready to buy some raffle tickets, win some sweet prizes and have a great experience,” Farver said. “If students can come and donate money, that’s the biggest contribution we can have.”