In 2001, sports management major Eric Schutter’s cousin, Mitchell Callahan, was diagnosed with autism. While Mitchell’s parents could afford a variety of treatment options for their son, they encountered many families who struggled to pay for services.
They decided to help those families and started the Lil MAC Kids Foundation in 2006 to help families pay for autism care services, and thanks to Schutter, the foundation has $600 more to assist families in need.
Schutter won the 2017 philanthropy tournament for his sales and fundraising in sport class this semester and donated his $600 award to the Lil MAC Kids Foundation, based just outside Columbus, Ohio. This is the third year of the tournament.
“We’re working to show students they can have an impact on others while they are still in school just by using the power of their words and actions,” said sport management professor Peter Titlebaum, the course instructor.
The prize money comes from the Gary Mioli Leadership in Community Fund, which gives UD students the opportunity to contribute to organizations in their communities.
The Mioli fund was started in spring 2016 when the sports management program in the Department of Health and Sports Science worked with the Mioli family and the Division of Advancement to honor Gary Mioli’s legacy of service. Mioli, a 1979 UD graduate, dedicated his life to leading young athletes on and off the football field in Park Ridge, N.J.
Judges chose Schutter and the Lil MAC Kids Foundation from 25 participants.
“It was a little surreal, I knew others I had strong presentations,” Schutter said. “I was surprised and it was an awesome moment. I was able to give back in a way that I couldn’t by just volunteering. I knew I was helping a kid get something they needed.”
Since 2006, Lil MAC Kids Foundation has donated $130,000 to more than 30 families, helping with everything from therapy to purchasing iPads to help with visual learning.