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SMC gears up for winter benefit walk

Teresa Nowakowski | Friday, February 20, 2004

Students from Saint Mary’s and members of the South Bend community will join together for a walk-a-thon Sunday in support of a local day center.

The Winter Walk will raise funds for Saint Margaret’s House, which aims to foster a safe environment for women and children. The center helps female victims of addiction, homelessness and domestic abuse to find jobs and create more stable lives for themselves. It also provides education for these women and their children.

“[This will] be a fun way to support Saint Margaret’s House, which I know is a good cause,” said Jacqueline Cuisinier, spirituality chair of the junior board at Saint Mary’s.

The walk covers 1.5 miles and begins at St. James Cathedral at 2:30 p.m. Saint Mary’s students will meet at 1:30 p.m. in LeMans circle in order to carpool to the cathedral together, Cuisinier said.

After the walk, there will be a reception offering refreshments to celebrate the accomplishment of the walk’s completion.

The Winter Walk has been an annual event for many years in the South Bend community, and Saint Mary’s has a tradition of participation. This year, Beth Bennett, student director of the Surv Center who serves as a liaison between students on campus and community service organizations around South Bend, said she wanted to get the entire section of her hall involved.

“As a campus, Saint Mary’s is very involved in Saint Margaret’s,” Bennett said.

This, she said, can be seen in the fact that several clubs have signed up to participate in this walk, including BOG and the cross country team.

“[The walk lets] people experience what it is like to walk in the shoes of those who don’t have transportation, especially in the winter,” Bennett said. “Another big point is to get people involved, meet [the women at the center] and see what they are all about.”

Jill Vlasek, a resident assistant in Holy Cross Hall, said the walk sounds like a good service opportunity.

“It seemed like a fun way I could give back to the community,” she said. “[It’s a] fun way to do service and get some fresh air.”