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Group hosts Spring Fling for local kids

Becky Hogan | Monday, March 26, 2007

The Silver Wings Club of Notre Dame helped underprivileged children from the South Bend community celebrate the beginning of spring with its annual “Spring Fling” event at Stepan Center Saturday.

The club provided fun and games for more than one hundred children from the Logan Center’s “Super Sibs” program, the Robinson Center, St. Margaret’s House and the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

“We just wanted to be able to give these kids who really deserve it a fun day to celebrate,” event coordinator Brittany Shelton said. “It was really fun to put it on and spend the day with them.”

Sophomore Annalise Loehr, who was in charge of entertainment and public relations for the event, said Silver Wings’ Spring Fling included a variety of activities, including an Easter egg hunt, arts and crafts, cookie decorating and several inflatables. Silver Wings provided lunch for the young participants, who ranged in age from 2 to 14, and Notre Dame’s Pom Squad also performed.

“Just to see [the kids] running around having a great time was really exciting,” Shelton said.

Shelton said approximately 30 Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students helped organize the event, which involved two months of preparation and planning. Members of the Arnold Air Society and cadets from Air Force ROTC also volunteered during Saturday’s festivities.

“We had a staff of six people and each of them was in charge of a different aspect of the event,” Shelton said. The staff members were in charge of organizing food, transportation and the egg hunt, as well as contacting various community centers in South Bend.

Spring Fling staff also organized transportation for five of the seven groups attending the event through charter buses.

The group started contacting the children’s groups one month prior to the event.

“Everyone on staff has put in a lot of hard work and time in preparation for the big day – it’s really been a team effort,” Shelton said. “We couldn’t have done it without each person’s contributions.”

Silver Wings was able to use the money raised from its concession stand in the fall as well as an allotment from the Student Activities Organization (SAO) to fund the event.

“We received a collaboration fund from the Club Coord-ination Council for $500, which turned out to be crucial as we needed to rent a second bus in order to get all the kids to and from the event,” Shelton said.

Silver Wings is a student group that serves as the civilian counterpart to the Arnold Air Society, which focuses its efforts on service in the community as well as personal and professional development for students.