Athletic department raises money for food fight contest

Three members of the South Dakota State Athletic Department took part in the third annual “Pie in the Face” contest to fundraise for the Summit League Food Fight.

Each year, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee selects three or four coaches and athletic department staff members to participate in the contest. Collection jars are set out in the department and at six home athletic events that occur during the Food Fight. Fans, students, coaches and administration put money in the collection jars, and the staff member whose jar receives the most money is pied in the face.

This year’s contest participants included SDSU Director of Athletics Justin Sell, head football coach John Stiegelmeier and Associate Athletics Director for Operations Christi Williams, who raised over $350 together. Williams won the contest, finishing with $161, and was pied in the face by Jack, SDSU’s mascot, during halftime of the women’s basketball game against Oral Roberts.

Williams said she enjoyed being part of the contest, knowing the funds are helping those in the Brookings community who don’t have enough funds to buy food for their families.

“It’s for a good cause and there’s no danger to it, so it was exciting,” Williams said. “At the first attempt he didn’t really get much of my face so I thought I was maybe going to luck out, but then he came and just slammed it on my whole face.”

Assistant Athletic Director of Academics and SAAC Adviser Jennie Sell said the event was a fun way to get people involved in the food fight.

“We try with the food fight to do some things that the students will get in on, some things that departmental staff will want to do, and actually a lot of the fans that come up for the games think it’s super fun,” Sell said.

All money raised, along with all the food and cans collected throughout the Food Fight contest, are donated locally to the Brookings Food Pantry. Sell joked that although it’s fun to compete and win against other Summit League schools, it feels better helping out the food pantry.

“It’s a win-win,” Sell said. “It’s fun to compete against the other schools and kind of dominate, but it’s also really awesome for the Food Pantry. We give them thousands of pounds of food each year … so it makes you feel really good knowing you’re helping them.”