The UCSB Department of Recreation began seeking additional endowments for its Legacy Fund this past Wednesday, encouraging donations from alumni and students to compensate for decreased state grants.

The drive aims to raise $25,000 by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year to develop and maintain the institute’s programs. The department features various athletic services for campus and community members, including 22 intercollegiate sport club teams, 19 intramural sports and over 64 adventure programs.

According to Rec Sports Director Paul Lee, the fund helps ensure the institute maintains consistent funding for its various programs.

“This is my 35th year at UCSB and, although the program was initially funded by the university, over the years the funding has dried up,” Lee said. “The reason why our fund is the ‘Legacy Fund’ follows our motto, ‘Let Gauchos Play.’ The idea is to make sure we leave a legacy and ensure these programs will continue to be available for future students.”

The department will invite professional sports teams, hotel representatives and other contributors to participate in a silent auction at its annual Hall of Fame event during Gaucho Reunion week. The commemoration honors club teams, students and community members who have impacted the program.

Lee said alumni events garner large number of attendees due to the positive impact the department has on undergraduates’ experiences.

“There are alumni members from the 1960s that still come to this annual ceremony and rave about their experiences. They are still so passionate about these programs and speak about the lifelong friendships they have built,” Lee said. “Rec Sports is not just a management organization, but helps develop leadership and life skills used on a daily basis.”

Rec Sports Fundraising Coordinator Sam Wexhler said program funding is completely voluntary.

“This is definitely not mandatory but a kindness-out-of-your-heart sort of thing,” Wexhler said. “The school and government do not help to pay for Rec Sports so the Legacy Fund is a way to help relieve this financial burden.”

Media Coordinator Joe Broder said student contributions already largely impact the fund’s revenue.

“We want everybody to help donate — people in the community, Santa Barbara Community College comes and takes part in these programs, but it is the students primarily using the Rec Cen,” Broder said. “No donation is too small. If everybody could contribute a dollar, even that adds up to a hefty amount.”