South Dakota Mines athletes who are part of the Hardrocker Ally Association student group are launching a new charity fundraiser called Beyond the Game that uses crowdfunding to raise money for childhood cancer families.
The annual Beyond the Game fundraising goal is set by the number of points scored by multiple Hardrocker athletic teams during the year including football, volleyball, basketball, golf, soccer, and track and field. Kaleb Roth, a graduate student in engineering management at Mines, is one of the co-founders of the charity effort. Roth is a running back on the Hardrocker football team. He hopes this fundraiser will leverage the love of the game into a bigger impact off the field.
“The whole idea is to bring a greater significance to the sports,” says Roth. “We all have a great passion for athletics, and you might play a great game on Saturday night and on Sunday it’s over and potentially forgotten. This brings a more lasting significance to people’s lives by helping those in need.”
Roth says the fundraiser is tied to Mines athletic success in an effort to make it more dynamic and interesting to follow. “It all ties back to the love of the game,” says Roth. “The more points we score, the more impact we have on people’s lives."
Roth worked alongside the university’s Center for Alumni Relations and Advancement (CARA) to launch a new crowd-based funding website for Beyond the Game. The money raised will go to families experiencing childhood cancer in the Midwest area through the Team Ashtyn Foundation. Tory and Jennifer Schwartz founded the Team Ashtyn Foundation on behalf of their daughter Ashtyn who was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after her third birthday. Their vision is to benefit local families going through similar battles with childhood cancer by offering small magical moments for children with the disease.
Roth started the Beyond the Game effort in 2021 with a fellow student athlete, Alex Reader, who graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering in May of 2022. His ongoing effort in his final year in graduate school is to promote the crowd-sourced fundraiser. “This is something that will increase the significance of athletics overall,” Roth says.