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Posted on Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 1:01 p.m.

U-M and MSU to have competitive fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

By Lisa Carolin

Michigan's two largest universities will be competing against each other for a cause next week — raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

University of Michigan Senior Brandon Yanik learned about Make-A-Wish from his dad, Dr. Greg Yanik, a pediatric oncologist at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. With the help of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Brandon Yanik set the idea of rival fundraisers at U-M and MSU into motion.

According to Brandon Yanik, "A few friends and I came up with the idea of a collegiate challenge between U-M and MSU structured similarly to the U-M and Ohio State University Blood Battle." The Blood Battle is the annual competition to see which campus can collect more blood donations prior to their November football game.

Brandon Yanik said the goal of the "Make Blue and Green Wishes Come True" fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Michigan, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, is to do what it takes to help every kid's wish to come true. The average wish costs $5,000, and Yanik hopes this year's competition raises between $25,000 and $50,000.

Students at U-M and MSU will set up donation drives at each campus from Feb. 25 to March 1 leading up to the Wolverines vs. Spartans men's basketball game March 3. Donation locations at U-M will be at the Towsley triangle in the University Hospital and at Angell Hall.

Karen Davis, president & CEO of Make-A-Wish Michigan, says she is thrilled to have students from two of the states' "great universities" taking part in fundraising.

Former U-M head football coach Lloyd Carr, a longtime supporter of Mott Hospital, also is a big supporter of the fundraiser and says the in-state rivalry is a perfect opportunity to help children in Michigan.

"Annually, almost 400 wishes are granted by the foundation to Michigan children, 100 of those to children at Mott Children's Hospital," said Carr.

Donations also can be made online for both Blue wishes, as well as Green wishes.