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Student-athletes help military veterans

EDWARDSVILLE, Illinois — For the fourth consecutive year, student-athletes from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Student Athlete Advisory Committee joined forces with student-athletes from around the Ohio Valley Conference to honor and thank our country's military veterans.

Through an OVC-wide initiative known as "Hoops for Heroes", each OVC member institution raised money to send local military veterans to the OVC Basketball Championship this week in Nashville, Tenn.

SAAC has been fundraising for this event throughout the 2013-14 school year at SIUE.

Fundraisers included selling final exam packages, Boo Grams, and Valentine's Day candy grams, pass the bucket at home basketball games and a campus talent show. SAAC raised $1500, enough to send three deserving veterans to the OVC tournament.

The competition was open to all SIUE students who are military veterans. After receiving information from each deserving candidate, the committee voted on their top choices based on merit and personal story. The three winners were Seth Boner, George Humm, and Amanee VonderHaar.

Last Wednesday, SIUE's winners were honored at halftime of the SIUE men's basketball game. VonderHaar was the only honoree able to attend the presentation.

VonderHaar was born and raised in Savannah, Ga., and served her country with the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. She moved to the St. Louis area with her husband Derrick in March 2012 and currently is pursuing a criminal justice degree with a history minor at SIUE. VonderHaar plans to graduate this fall.

Boner was born in Springfield, and is a graduate of Pleasant Plains High School. He joined the Army Reserves in 2007 and was deployed to Iraq from December 2009- October 2010. Boner is pursuing a criminal justice degree at SIUE.

Humm was born and raised in Bethalto. He joined the Air Force in 2009, and served four years in the U.S Air Force and one year in the U.S Air Force Reserve as a Geospatial Intelligence Analyst. Humm has been stationed around the world and had always wanted to join the military.

He is the fourth generation from his family to serve. Humm was honorably discharged with the rank of Senior Airman and is currently pursuing his degree in computer management and information systems at SIUE.

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