Millersville SAAC organizes third Make-A-Wish® reveal

SAAC surprised Ryan Coghlan with a ski trip to Colorado at the Millersville/Shippensburg basketball game. Photo Courtesy of MU Athletics

Casey Saussaman
Head Copy Editor

Millersville University Athletics’ Student-Athlete Advisory Council hosted a Make-A-Wish® reveal for 15-year-old Ryan Coghlan during the basketball games against Shippensburg on February 7.

At halftime of the women’s game, Coghlan signed his one-day contract with the Marauders during a press conference held in the lobby of Pucillo Gymnasium. Head Coach Casey Stitzel and Director of Athletics Miles Gallagher presented Coghlan with a jersey of his own and spoke of the intangibles he possesses which make him a perfect fit for the Marauder family: strength and courage.

“It means a lot and I’m really happy that Millersville could do it and that I’m here today,” said Coghlan. “I’m looking forward to making the team proud.”

Wearing No. 1, Coghlan took part in warmups prior to the men’s game, and was announced in the starting lineup. He tossed the ball in a ceremonial tipoff before joining the Marauders on the bench for the game.

At halftime, he received his wish. In true Make-A-Wish® fashion, a red carpet, leading to a velvet chair, was rolled out for Coghlan. Students from the Student-Athlete Advisory Council took turns bringing gifts to him, all relating to his wish. He received a basket of Millersville gear, including a hat, gloves, and scarf, as well as a GoPro to document his trip.

Then, on cue, the cheerleading team held signs that read, “You’re going to Vail, Colorado!”

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His upcoming ski trip will not only provide the physical challenge Coghlan wanted after his illness, but will also make up for lost time.

When Coghlan was in eighth grade, he and his friends were preparing for a ski trip. Just before the trip, he and his parents noticed something was not right. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma and battled the disease for two years. Coghlan is now in his first year of remission.

Student-Athlete Advisory Council raised more than $5,000 through fundraising and collections at various sporting events for Make-A-Wish® in 2017, giving them to opportunity to reveal Coghlan’s wish.This is the third year in a row SAAC hosted a reveal.

“It’s very rewarding to have such an impactful event on your campus, and to see a child’s one true wish come true,” says Larry Earnesty, associate director of athletics and SAAC advisor. “It brings a face to all those hours and has a real impact [on] somebody.”