Feb. 20, 2011
Santa Barbara, Calif. -- UCSB track and field athletes traded in their blue singlets and spikes for ties and dresses Saturday night for the Round-Up portion of Saturday's day - long event. Immediately following the track meet at Westmont College, the night began with a formal dinner and included a silent auction fundraiser as well as several talent performances from the athletes themselves.
The purpose of the night was for athletes to invite friends and family to kick off the season as well as gain financial support to assist with covering expenses for the year. The main fundraising event of the season, the track and field team is currently undergoing a campaign to get funding to resurface Pauley track which has been put to much wear and tear in the past decade.
"Parents like Russ Parker have really gotten involved to get sponsors to help resurface the track. Even if the athletes this season will most likely not be able to use it, at least something is being down now and we are part of that process" said Junior Sarah Vitug who was part of the coordination committee for the Gaucho Round-Up.
To help fundraise, the silent auction included items and packages donated from the Santa Barbara community and a large portion of donations from athletes' parents. For instance, families offered their cabin for a weekend or help put together Trader Joe's gift baskets as part of the items being auctioned off. Track and field has remained a largely under-funded program and the Gauchos work hard to put on multiple smaller, fundraising opportunities throughout the course of the year. The proceeds are mainly to help support the program by assisting with traveling expenses for a team of 106 athletes among other financial needs.
Overall, the night was a success and ran smoothly despite being pushed back due to a thirty-minute suspension from thunder during the track meet. And with the determination and dedication these athletes have, their effort does not go unnoticed in continuing to build a top-notch program.